Heading South

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 5 Feb 2013 02:39
Noon Position: 42 32.3 S   148 22.7 E
Course: South   Speed: 4 knots
Wind:  North nor' east  F3 gentle breeze
Sea: slight, Swell: negligible
Weather: Sunny, mild
Day’s run:  101 nm
We managed to sneak past St Helens Point without needing to tack, though it was a slow process with a light headwind and a small swell right on Sylph's nose.  With her spoon bow Sylph will ride up and over a sea or swell and, with only a light wind in her sails, she loses momentum in the process, which, being a heavy boat, takes a while to build up again.  On the plus side we were rewarded for being so close in by a large pod of dolphins paying us a visit.  This mob were particularly playful and I stood watching them in delight as they frolicked in tail slapping displays.  Some even did a few high flying leaps for me, indeed one particular showy individual leapt several meters into the air and did a full backward somersault, something I have never seen in the wild before.
Overnight the wind backed into the north as predicted so that by ten p.m., instead of being close hauled, we were running square downwind.  I allowed Sylph to slowly work her way offshore for the night so I could sleep more peacefully, and now we are slowly working our way back in again.  We have about forty miles to go to Cape Pillar, which, with the wind freshening slightly, we should be passing at around seven p.m.  From there we will alter course to west and make for Storm Bay and into the Derwent and Hobart, a route made famous by the numerous Sydney to Hobart yacht races which have come this way.  With luck we should be dropping the anchor some time tomorrow.
All is well.