Strong Winds

Noon Position: 27 08.0 S 163 01.0 E
Course: Nor
th west, Speed: 2.5 knots
Wind: S
outh west, F7 near gale
Weather:
Overcast, drizzle, mild
Day's run: 60 miles

As expected the low has made its presence felt in unmistakeable terms. Late in the evening we found ourselves becalmed, sails slatting in a short confused sea. We drifted for a few hours under bare poles and waited. Just after midnight the breeze picked up from the south east. Initially it was only moderate but knowing what was to come I opted to go straight to a double reefed main and about 50 % jib. Sure enough, the wind has steadily increased in strength and veered into the south west. Now we are down to a triple reefed mainsail with the wind and sea on our port bow making good a course to the north west. I would like to be making a course to the south west but this is not an option right now. We shall just have to wait for the weather to moderate, which it should do a little as the low tracks off to the south east but it will still leave us with fresh headwinds for several days to come.

I am hoping to make landfall at Coffs Harbour which is a nice quiet fishing town on the north New South Wales coast. I know I am being optimistic aiming this far south, with strong south westerlies the norm at this time of year, but I want to get to Adelaide for Christmas. I live in hope, and if it proves too difficult we will just bear away a bit and make for Brisbane.

The barometer has just moved up a notch – hooray! Hopefully it will continue in this direction.

All is well.