Doldrums

Noon position: 04 47.0 N 165 40.0 W
Course: South west Speed: 5 knots
Wind: ESE, F3 – gentle breeze
Sea: slight Swell: ENE 1 meters
Weather: overcast, showers, warm
Day’s run: 134 nm

It has been a long night. I have been doing battle with the doldrums. Light winds and rain squalls, slatting sails, sail changes, reefing, furling, gybing and course adjustments have kept me busy for much of the night.

At 23.00 I had just set the drifter in the frustratingly light winds, mainsail reefed to reduce the slatting, when a dark cloud approached. It started to rain and in short order the wind had picked up and I struggled to get the drifter down again. Less than an hour later we were running free before the squall, two reefs in the main, the headsail mostly furled poled out opposite the main. A couple of hours later the wind had veered into the east – down pole, beam reach. And shortly after sunrise we were close reaching to a light ESE wind, full sail set.

According to my weather fax charts the doldrums peter our just to the east of Kirimitati (Christmas Island). My personal forecaster tells me that the winds should be from the ENE. Anyway, I am backing that we are through the worst of the light winds and squalls, at least for the time being. The weather charts indicate more light winds ahead, but we will wait and see. One lives in hope.

Despite the mildly challenging conditions Sylph has still posted another good day’s run. Well done old Sylph. We even did a bit of laundry in the rain.

1,710 nm to Fiji, 3,460 nm to Sydney.

All is well.