At Sea

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 11 Sep 2010 00:15

Position: 41 31.0 S 073 00.0 W
Course: North Speed:: 4 knots
Wind: Northwest, F3, gentle breeze
Weather: Some cloud, cool
Day’s Run: 85 miles

We made slow progress last night, drifting for much of it, but in the end it all worked out very well. We had two narrow straits to negotiate which were tide bound, and in both instances we arrived right when we needed to, the ebb stream carrying us through nicely. In particular this afternoon we had to transit the long channel between Isla Chiloe and the mainland. The tidal stream tears through this bottle neck, there are 7 meter tides in the Gulfo de Ancud and a lot of water is trying to find its way between the Gulf and the ocean through this strait, about 20 miles long and about a mile wide at its narrowest point. We actually arrived about an hour early by my calculations, nonetheless as we approached the eastern end of the strait it was soon obvious that the ebb was already running strongly. We were pushing a light headwind but despite this for much of the transit we were travelling at over 10 knots, at one point reaching 13.5 knots, I can’t recall ever having Sylph moving this fast before, especially upwind. As we exited the western end of the strait and into the Pacific Ocean not surprisingly there was a short steep sea running with the wind against the tide. Sylph bucked into it throwing water over her decks, flushing the last remnants of the land from topsides.

So we have ended up making good progress, we are now well out to sea and heading up the coast, against a headwind of course. But this is actually part of my plan. There is a front coming through tomorrow, not something to look forward to but I figure it would be good to be out on the open ocean to face it and once it has passed there should be some nice southerly type winds behind it which will hopefully speed us on our way. Anyway that is the plan, we shall have to wait to see what actually happens.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

No doubt about it we are back at sea. Last night was quite tolerable but this afternoon was hell. The V-berth where I have been spending most of my time over the last few months became uninhabitable, in fact the whole abode became uninhabitable, but there was just nowhere else to go. I simply hung on as best I could. Totally unsatisfactory, I even lost my appetite for tuna! Fortunately it has calmed down a lot, still far too much moving around for my comfort. but at least now I can … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz