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Date: 21 May 2015 03:07:38
Title: Wednesday, 20th May, 2015

Noon Position: 15.38S 161.25W

Daily run: 36 miles

Yesterday must be among the most squally days on record. There were few brief periods when the rain did not come pelting down. We tried to set the genoa on a pole, just by itself and no other sail. It was a wet business, only to find that the sail might do better on the other side of the mast. The little wind was fickle and would not give us any direction. Wet through, we decided to have some supper and sort something out later. After all, both poles were out and all we would have to do was pull a sheet to bring the sail out, which ever side appeared better, but the wind had changed again by then and using the poles was no longer an option. In the dark with the deck light on we struggled to take the poles in so that we might use our genoa in the conventional way. However, whatever we tried seemed to fail and we decided to give up and just drift for the night as the engine gave us just 1 knot of speed in the confused sea.

This morning brought a dark, ugly western horizon with 18 knots of wind from the West. At least we had some wind, be it from the very direction we wanted to go. We thought we might tack out of it. With a reefed mainsail and a full genoa, we were making 7 knots either northwest or southwest depending on the tack, exhausting work, but it seemed that little western progress was being made. At around lunchtime, however, the wind backed from west through to southeast, but diminished considerably in strength. Additionally, a prominent southerly swell added to the confused state of the sea, so that we were forced to keep our sails down to save them from being torn from their fastenings by the swells throwing our little ship about. At 2.45pm we put he engine on again in the hope of finding some decent winds.

Eric

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