Departed Tokunoshima

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 9 Feb 2014 06:04
1400 Position: 27 49.2 N 129 15.9 E
Course: ? Speed 0
Wind: Calm
Sea: slight
Swell: North west 2 meters
Weather: overcast, mild, occasional drizzle

I awoke with the alarm at 3 a.m.. A light breeze was blowing from the north west, ideal for the short passage to Koneo Ko on Amami O-shima, thirty miles to the north east of Kametoku Ko. It did not take long to have Sylph secured for sea as I had left things ready from the short sail with Saori on Friday. At 3.45 we had motored out of the harbour, rounded into the breeze, set the mainsail, then lined ourselves up on the leads to motor out between the large concrete breakwaters on either side of the harbour entrance. Once clear of the harbour the wind veered into the north such that we were close hauled on the port tack making good a course of east nor' east. I had expected headwinds which is why we needed to leave Kametoku Ko early in order to make Koneo Ko before sunset. With Sylph sailing along nicely at four knots, and with the AIS alarm on, I pushed RC to one side, and climbed back into my warm bunk to get a little extra sleep.
Unfortunately the wind has not held. While light winds had been forecast for the day I was hoping they would be strong enough to keep Sylph sailing. This has not proven to be the case. Since about 9.00 we have had very little to no wind. I have motored for a short while but I find motoring in a the grey sullen sea excruciatingly boring and I only lasted about forty five minutes before shutting the engine down and trying to coax Sylph into holding a course under sail. After a couple more hours of flopping around, the sails slatting and chafing, I have given up. The genoa is furled and the mainsail lowered. We roll about in this infernal swell going nowhere. I will no doubt find the patience to motor for another half hour or so later on but our chances of making port before dark are now zero. Some wind will come sooner or later, so we may as well wait for it.
All is well.