Bass Strait

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 19 Aug 2011 03:49
Noon Position: 38 16.8 S 149 18.4 E
Course: Southwest, Speed 5 knots
Wind: East, F4 moderate breeze
Weather: overcast, mild

The weather has behaved pretty much as forecast. For most of the night we remained hard on the wind heading due south on the starboard tack with one reef in the mainsail. The old headsail we are currently using is a cut down genoa so it is the equivalent of a number two and the wind didn't pick up sufficiently for me to feel the need to reduce this down. With a bit of current assisting us, despite the headwind, we made good progress, though come dawn the wind fell very light and with the residual seas still rolling past I handed the mainsail and partially furled the jib to reduce wear and tear and allowed Sylph to find her own course for a few hours while I had a bit of a snooze. I did not rest as well as I would have liked however as we had a number of large ships pass close by which our newest piece of safety equipment, the AIS radar, failed to pick up, and there is quite a bit of shipping through this bit of water.

Just after dawn the wind freshened from the east. Hooray! I unrolled the jib, adjusted the wind vane and Sylph took off down the wind and waves at a steady six knots.

After breakfast I pulled the AIS antenna apart and sure enough, once I had taken the rubber cap off, I found that the antenna element had snapped off near the base. I attribute this to a poor location on my part, as I sometime fall against it. I fully intended to relocate it but alas, too late. I have repaired the aerial with some super glue but am not confident about how long it will last and shall probably need to replace it at which time I shall find a better place to position it. Still, it is working for now.

Now the wind has eased off a bit and we are rolling heavily to the sea and swell behind us. I might get the mainsail up soon.

All is well.