Chasing the Wind.
Course: South sou' west; 3 knots
Wind: East, gentle breeze
Weather: Cloudy, warm
Day's Run: 70 miles
Last night as I looked astern I could see all the thunderheads lined up on the northern horizon, regular soft glowings from within as lightning flashed, the cloud of origin lighting up like a Chinese lantern. Ahead and above the sky was crystal clear, the myriad stars shining brilliantly, the reflection of the waxing crescent moon low in the east shining silver on the ruffled water beneath the boom. It looked like the ITCZ was behind us for the moment but my pessimist warned me that it would not be for long. And my pessimist was right. Come midnight the stars were smothered by heavy cloud, the wind fell light and fitful as a squall passed over, heavy fat globules of rain plashed, breaking their liquid sacks onto the deck, and noisily flattening the surrounding sea.
The rain passed and we were left wallowing, mainsail crashing in a small but confused sea. For the rest of the night we all but drifted under a reduced jib, the mainsail lowered and secured.
This morning we have some wind, mostly light and steady from the east but, every now and then, shifting as a thunderhead with its grey shroud of rain beneath passes close by, the downdrafts out-flowing and either strengthening or reducing the wind strength, depending on our position relative to the cloud. Generally I wait for a minute or two before trimming sheets, adjusting sails and windvane, for likely as not, five minutes later the wind will shift back again.
So all in all another slow day.
All is well.
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. .. Naked he came from his mother's womb, he returns as he came - naked. .. So what did he gain from chasing the wind? (Apologies to Qoheleth)
And on that thought, I shall get back to that which best prepares us . Zzzzzzz.