Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 21 Feb 2016 23:36
Noon Position: 20 04.5 N 153 42.0 W
Course: West sou' west Speed: 4 knots
Wind: South sou' west, F4 moderate breeze
Sea: slight Swell: north east 1 meter
Weather: overcast, occasional showers, mild
Day's run: nm

We drifted along under just the drifter for a couple of hours in the early forenoon, when at just before four, the wind picked up a little, sufficient to set the mainsail without it slatting in the rolling swell. The new breeze was out of the south-east, so we close reached with the drifter and mainsail making good a comfortable three to four knots. The wind remained light and steady for several hours but slowly strengthened such that at two this morning I handed the drifter, which in fact had become a bit of handful even with the snuffer, and set the no. 2 headsail in its place. The wind has continued to slowly freshen and veer further into the south, so we are now close hauled on the port tack with a reef in the mainsail, thumping along into a building sea, but still comfortable and making good a respectable four to five knots.

The wind is forecast to continue to veer into the south-west later today, a muzzler, so while we only have about 85 miles to go to Hilo, we will probably have to sail closer to a hundred or more miles before we get there. Nevertheless I remain confident that we should get there at a respectable hour sometime tomorrow.

A last minute update: I just went up forward to inspect the headsail and to my dismay saw that one of its seams is starting to open up. Bother! It does not surprise me as the old #2 has done a lot of work, including getting Sylph through the channels of Patagonia, which is why I went up to check on it. I have a #3 and a staysail in reserve yet, so I can set Sylph up as a cutter. She is pretty much bullet proof with this rig, but it would certainly mean a significant loss of speed. For now I will keep a close eye on the sail and if the seam starts to open up any more, or the wind picks up, then I will change the sails, and will most likely change down before sunset, to be on the safe side. I really cannot see the seam holding out that long. Hmm, or I could drop the sail and do a quick repair job, sew the seam back up.

I will let you know what happens tomorrow, when hopefully we will be snug in port, cleared in, and RC's quarantine requirements sorted.

All is well.