Better than Expected

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 11 Jan 2014 05:28
Noon Position: 21 31.6 N 139 13.7 E
Course: North west Speed: 6.5 knots
Wind: North east, F4 fresh breeze
Sea: moderate Swell: north 3 meters
Weather: mostly sunny, mild
Day's run: 109 nm

(I think I actually forgot to send this yesterday!)

As one of my favourite characters, Wallace of “Wallace and Gromit” fame,
once said, “Well, that went as well as could be expected.”, though the quote
is not entirely apropos for he says it when things all go horribly wrong,
whereas last night in fact turned out to be less torturous than I had
Late in the afternoon, contemplating the pounding and bashing that Sylph and
crew were enduring, and the thought that we might have to put up with it for
several more days, I pondered what I might be able to do about it. The only
thing I could really think of was to slow down a bit. To this end I tried
furling the jib and setting the staysail in its place. Once completed I was
pleased to note that while we had in fact lost about a knot in speed and
were not able to point quite as high, the ride was indeed a lot more
comfortable and likely to be a lot less wearing on Sylph, her crew, and her
cat. So we settled down for the night under double reefed mainsail and
staysail making good a course of west nor' west at about three and a half
knots, not exactly fast, but certainly a lot faster than when we were
drifting around the Solomon Sea.
Throughout the night I was further pleased that the wind started to veer
more than I had expected. This allowed me to ease sheets a bit which
provided more drive from the limited sail area we had up, and had us up our
speed to five to six knots, while still maintaining a relatively comfortable
angle to the waves. As a consequence we have actually had a reasonably
restful night plus made a respectable day's run. Conditions are forecast to
remain the same for the next couple of days, and on Tuesday to veer further
into the east. If we continue at our current rate we should make Okinawa
sometime Friday.
All is well.