Pushing On

Position: 43 26.1 S 060 52.1 W
Course: South souéast Speed 3.5 knots
Wind: Southwest, F6: strong breeze
Weather: Sunny with some cirrus, cool.
Day´s Run: 72 nm

The wind had eased towards evening and we were losing too much ground to
windward. After finishing off some left over curry from the night before
(always tastier the second ight) I went on deck while there was still light
and unrolled some jib and dropped the storm jib. We have continued on like
that since. I am not particularly happy with our progress, in particular I
would like to be a lot closer to the coast. At this rate we will be in the
Falklands some time next week, and failing that might have to head for Cape
Town. I have re-read both Josh Slocum´s, and Bill Tilman´s account of their
voyages in this part of the world and it seems they both enjoyed more
favourable conditions then Sylph is being handed for now. I have spent what
seems like hours staring at the chart, poring over the weather faxes and
grib files thinking what can I do. After reading a bit of Moitessier who
must have been a bit of a hard driver I thought let´s get the mainsail up
and push Sylph along a bit, so I don foul weather gear, go on deck, look
around, look around some more and - chicken out. Sylph is plodding along
nicely, I am obviously no hard nosed ship driver. We could make her go
faster but I doubt whether we would gain a much better angle to the wind and
I weigh up the cost, extra strain on gear and me (and BC - he is up and
about, I just heard a crash in the vicinity of his food bowl and BC
reappeared meowing in disgust at something) and resulting breakages,
probably a torn sail. No we must do things our own way. As I write the wind
is freshening and if I had put more sail up I would now be fretting like a
kitten. I do not want to get caught up in the Falklands current but I think
the safest strategy is to push on as we are, either we will get a more
favourable slant or if a gale springs up we will probably have to turn tail
and run back towards Mar Del Plata. (Rule 8 from the Norwegian book of
mountaineering - there is no shame in turning back.)

All is well.



Bob Cat:

Drips in my bunk, most unsatisfactory! And yes, getting to the food bowl is
an expedition. First I have to get over this lee cloth thing which holds us
in the bunk when the boat is leaning over, quite a jump to the floor - I
ain´t no kitten anymore - the short alleyway is OK but around the corner
there is quite a bit of open space to cross to get to the food bowl and in
these conditions it is invariably wet and slippery. This afternoon I slid
and clunked into the galley, most undignified. And then when I get there it
I the same old hard tack, hardly worth the trip. Then of course the passage
back to the bunk is an uphill journey. Damn drips! However . . . Zzzzzz.

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