More Drifting

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 22 Jun 2014 05:36

Noon position: 42 55.0 N 145 00.1 E
Course: East, Speed 3 knots
South sou' east F2 light breeze
cool, fog
Day's run: 26 nm

Yesterday's fair breeze abandoned us, and the fog returned, almost as soon as I had written of it, leaving Sylph wandering around the compass seeking what little wind there was. While there is a long low swell running out of the south east, fortunately the seas are flat, which means we are at least able to make use of any puff of breeze that can be felt. Nonetheless, for several hours last night I had to hand all sail and just let Sylph drift, for when I went on deck at 03.00 the drifter hung limp, dripping with fog and dragging over the shrouds, while the mainsail banged noisily from side to side as Sylph rolled in the swell with not even a puff of wind to stabilise her.

From six until seven, with still nary a breath of breeze to be felt, I motored. The solar panels are not very effective in the heavy fog and consequently the batteries needed charging. Running a diesel without a load on it for long periods is bad for the engine, so, despite my dislike of motoring, I thought I may as well put a few miles behind us for the period that the engine needed to run to charge the batteries.

Since 09.00 we have had sufficient breeze to set sail again and since then, while the breeze continues fitful, it has been sufficient to keep Sylph gliding along at a steady two to three knots.

All is well.