Course: South West Speed: 5 knots
Wind: West Nor’ West, F3 – gentle breeze
Sea: slight Swell: North West, 0.5 m
Weather: sunny, hot
Day’s run: 72 nm
We spent a large part of yesterday motoring (2.5 hours – 12 nm), drifting (3 hours – 4 nm sideways; went for a swim around the boat), and attempting to make some headway under the drifter (2 hours – 3 nm). At 20.30, with the drifter collapsing and chafing against the shrouds, I was about to give up on sailing and start the engine, but when I went on deck to douse the light weight sail I could feel a breeze distinctly upon my face (well upon everything actually – its hot out here). The drifter was filling nicely. I looked around, waited for a bit, but it seemed like a genuine breeze and not just a fleeting down draft. So instead of starting the engine I raised the mainsail. We picked up speed to three knots, not a lot, but sufficient to attract the attention of some dolphins (I wonder whether it was the same pod from earlier in the day), which I could hear splashing and playing about around Sylph’s bow when I went on deck to do my midnight rounds. At three a rain shower passed over, the wind picked up further, I doused the drifter and set the genoa in its place - five knots - that's better.
Since setting full sail we have added some sixty miles to the day’s run. Thank goodness.
624 nm to Fiji
All is well.