Drifting

Noon Position: 43 39.7 S 146 49.9 E
Course: West Speed: 4 knots
Wind: South sou-west F3 gentle breeze
Sea: slight Swell: south 3 meters
Weather: sunny, mild
Day’s run: 15 nm (since 1800)

In the hindsight of the last several hours, yesterday’s closing remarks were completely overzealous with deluded optimism. I had had visions of working our way around South East Cape and by about midnight being able to ease sheets to an overnight gentle breeze and by now Sylph would be skimming her way up the west coast. But I should have known better. As the sun dropped below the western horizon, so too did the wind and we have been pretty much drifting and rolling about on this steep Southern Ocean swell ever since.

It was a long tiring night because when the wind died we had ended up pretty close to the reefs which hazard the entrance to Recherche Bay and during the night the swell slowly and inexorably pushed us onto them. I suspect in the days of sail almost as many ships must have been wrecked from drifting onto hazards due to the lack of wind as were lost due to tempest and storm. But fortunately we were not at the complete mercy of the elements and at 2.45 I flashed up the BRM and we motored for half an hour to put a few miles of deep clear sea between Sylph’s two mortal occupants and the relentlessly gnashing rocks. This morning at about 7.30 some wind looked like filling in so I jubilantly hoisted all plain sail, only to be disappointed less than an hour later to find us wallowing once more on the windless swells.

But now, at last, it seems (fingers crossed) that a more consistent breeze has arrived and South East Cape is astern of us. Hooray!

I won’t venture any prophecies as to what the wind will do this evening, but I think I will mentally prepare myself for another rolly night.

All is well.