River of Silver

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 19 Dec 2009 14:46

Noon Position: 36 58.7 S 056 05.6 W

Course: Southwest Speed: 5.5
Wind: Northeast F4 - moderate breeze
Weather: Overcast, mild

Day’s run: 134 miles

The wind picked up quickly after posting yesterday’s blog, by late afternoon we had one reef in the main, by midnight two reefs and early this morning we were running under the jib alone. Normally I would have kept a little more sail up but the combination of relatively shallow water, a strong breeze and tidal streams had the seas kicking up such that at one point when the depth was shoaling a wave broke just at the wrong moment; it leapt aboard, flooded the cockpit, gave me a good dousing and a small amount even made its way below and had Bob Cat shifting sleeping berths. After this experience I headed offshore a little further to get into deeper water and hopefully slightly less aggressive waves.

Last night as we ploughed along through the choppy shallow seas the bioluminescence was particularly bright, waves were breaking everywhere, all of them capped with silver, the wake shone brightly as it streamed astern and the bow wave surged forward lighting our way. I speculated perhaps this was the reason for the river being named Rio del Plata, there is certainly nothing silver about it during the day.

Today the wind is still fresh but has eased a bit and I can see what is going on around us better in the daylight so the mainsail is back up with one reef and we are running square wing on wing. I won’t make a prediction as to our arrival in Mar del Plata at this stage, the forecast indicates the possibility of some strong headwinds in the next 24 hours, if we are lucky we may get in before they arrive, or maybe they won’t arrive, but then again if they do and we get caught out our progress might stall out to virtually zero.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

Hrmph! Do I need to say anymore. The quarter berth is out of bounds for the next few days. Water and felines are immiscible. I tried my new favorite but the small chart table was threatening to throw me off every five minutes, eventually I resorted to the starboard settee and shared with the skipper, with him doing his usual antics of jumping in and out every 20 minutes. Now its time to catch up on some proper sleep . . . Zzzzzzz.