Land Fall

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 30 Jan 2011 20:15
Noon Position: 09 41.0 S 138 29.5 W
Course: 260 Speed: 4.6 Knots
Wind: East, F3 Gentle breeze
Weather: Sunny, warm
Day’s Run (23 h 40 m): 100 miles

At eight minutes past eleven we raised land fine off the port bow, right where it was supposed to be. Hooray! “Why off the port bow?” I hear you ask. Good question, well asked. Of course our destination, Atuona is on the south side of Hiva Oa, so really we wanted to raise the island fine off the starboard bow but last night the winds were on the light side and the direct course had Sylph running square, rolling and the mainsail slatting badly. I have mentioned this before but I think the biggest disadvantage of a fully battened mainsail is this problem in light airs. The five battens are under quite a bit of compression and each time the sail pops through due to the apparent wind shift with the rolling the spring effect causes the whole boat to shudder, especially the rig. I worry more about damage to the mast and rigging in light airs like this then when in a full on gale. I didn't want to drop the mainsail so I altered course to starboard a little to increase the apparent wind and to take the swell on a different angle off the stern. This alteration of course of about 10 degrees made a lot of difference but meant we ended up a little north of where we wanted to be. After confirming our position with morning stars I altered course back to port as far as we could go without gybing and found we were only a little to starboard of the required course so have been content to remain a little north. The wind has picked up just sufficiently overnight so that the mainsail is no longer slatting and we are not rolling as much.

Shortly I will gybe and we will put Hiva Oa on the opposite bow. Our ETA if the wind holds is about 20.00, a bit later than I had hoped so as mentioned yesterday we may loiter off overnight if it looks like we won't make it into the bay comfortably before sunset.

It was very satisfying to make landfall without GPS.

Here is a thought for the day:

Courage and cowardice are antithetical. Courage is an inner resolution to go forward in spite of obstacles and frightening situations; cowardice is a submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creative self-affirmation; cowardice produces destructive self-abnegation. Courage faces fear and thereby masters it; cowardice represses fear and is thereby mastered by it. Courageous men never lose the zest for living even when life is zestless; cowardly men, overwhelmed by the uncertainties of life, lose the will to live. We must constantly build dykes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you Dr. King, not always easy, but I guess if it was easy it wouldn't be courage.

All is well.