Drifting but no Drifter

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 30 Oct 2010 01:45

Position: 33 44.0 S   072 31.6 W
Course: West Speed: 4

Wind West sou’ west F3 gentle breeze
Weather: Mostly sunny
Days Run: 33 miles

It has been a slow 24 hours. The wind has been mostly light boxing the compass and with a large sou’ westerly swell the sails have been slatting heavily so I have had to drop them a number of times and drift for many hours. Sunset last night we had a gentle breeze, enough to keep the drifter full and pulling Sylph along at one to two knots. Generally I drop the drifter at night as it is harder to see sudden changes in weather coming, and if caught out the drifter being of light fabric is quite vulnerable. But conditions were consistent and light and rather then drift and roll going nowhere I left it up. Just before midnight I had a look around on deck and looking aloft was dismayed to see a rent in the drifter from luff to leech in the bunt of the sail, about half way up, just above the kangaroo. Well I am sure it wasn’t the wind that did it, in fact probably the opposite, more likely a tear started as a result of some chafe and then just split a weakened seam, basically wear and tear and old age. So scratch one drifter.

Another minor problem occurred yesterday evening when I started the engine to charge the batteries, and the alternator drive belt broke. That was a job I left till this morning while flopping around in a calm patch. Getting to the alternator involved dismantling much of the cabin, something Bob Cat was obviously not too happy about.

Now a gentle breeze has filled in from the south, and while we haven’t made much progress over the past 24 hours, most of it has been to the south which will allow us a better angle with these southerly winds as they freshen.  The barometer is rising, it is a beautiful clear night, lots of stars, no moon yet.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

A pleasant sort of day, lots of sunshine, the abode was reasonably placid, so spent most of it out on the patio and sun deck. Just as well too, the skipper had one of his manic fits and started destroying his habitat again, but he is over it now and everything is back together. Now it is dark and the abode is starting to get a bit frisky, back to the settee. No tuna but fish of some description, certainly beats the hard tack whatever it is. Now well refreshed it is time for a …. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz