Roaring Forties

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 11 Jan 2010 18:10
Position: 41 14.8 S 061 06.1 W
Course: West Speed: 2 knots
Wind: Variable
Weather: Overcast, heavy rain, thunder, lightning.
Day´s Run: 79 nm (107 nm distance sailed)

We are down in latitude 41 degrees south, the roaring forties the old square
rigged sailors called this part of the ocean. Hopefully they won´t roar at
us too much but unfortunately it is obvious that we are not going to be able
to close the coast in time to avoid the worst of the front passing through
later today. Late yesterday afternoon the wind fell light and variable as a
ridge of high pressure passed through, on the other side of the ridge were
some fresh northeasterlies which had us once more wing on wing running
square. By 2.30 this morning the wind had freshened to 20 knots so taking
note of Pato´s advice and taking care of Sylph´s old sails I put a second
reef in the mainsail and furled the jib a bit more. This still pushed us
along at a respectable 6 to 7 knots without unduly straining anything.

Daylight revealed a variety of clouds gradually extending across the sky,
and by 9 a.m. they ahd grown into a heavy bank of large dark clouds ahead of
us. It didn´t exactly look frontal but I decided to be cautious and
gradually started to prepare Sylph for a bit of a blow. The morning also
revealed numerous wandering albatross wheeling and soaring around Sylph.
The clouds proved to be more of a trough than a front with heavy rain, some
intimidating thunder and lightning and confused seas. With sails which are
less than 100% I decided once more ot be cautious and we are now under
trysail and staysail. Initially I bent on the storm jib but it is so small I
changed over to the slightly bigger staysail. Now the wind is still light,
the rain is no longer continuous but just bursts forth every now and again
with a short heavy deluge. As I write I can hear thunder rumbling in the
distance. I could put some more sail up but I have gone to some trouble to
secure the mainsail so think for now with the wind as light as it is that we
will just leave thihs as the are. The front will arrive sometime in the next
several hours, at least we should be ready for it.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

Its been raining outside, good weather for patos but definitely not for
gatos. Good weather for gatos to . . . Zzzzzzzzz.