Kuchina Shima

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 17 Feb 2014 04:15
Noon Position: 29 56.2 N 129 52.1 E
Course: North nor' east Speed 5.5 knots
Wind: South east F5 Fresh Breeze
Sea: moderate
Swell: South east 1 meter
Weather: Overcast, showers, cool
Day's run: 126 nm

We've enjoyed a pretty good run since getting clear of Amami O-shima. The wind has freshened gradually overnight and veered into the south east as forecast. We are down to two reefs in the mainsail and about 60% of the headsail. Right now we are tucked in under the lee of Kuchina Shima enjoying smooth water and gentler wind, but it is only a small island, though steep and grand, and it won't be long until we are back out into the rougher seas again; so I am trying to get today's report done before Sylph starts to bounce around again. In fact the wind is picking up as I write, and we are back up to seven plus knots. The seas are still relatively flat, but it won't be long before they pick up as well.

There is a strong current that runs north up the South China Sea a little to the west of us, and about here, where we are getting closer to the main islands of Japan, it turns east, at a rate of up to two knots, which is quite a bit for an ocean current. This means wind and current will be contrary to one another and the seas are therefore likely to be short and steep, but at least the current is pushing us in the right direction. (We have just cleared the northern headland of Kuchina Shima and Sylph's movement has gotten quite boisterous again.)

Migonoura Ko, our next port, is forty miles away. At seven knots we will arrive at about 19.00, once again just after dark. Bother!

All is well.