Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 27 May 2016 01:28
Noon Position: 29 59.1 S 157 54.2 E
Course: South by West Speed: 5 knots
Wind: West, F6 – strong breeze
Sea: rough Swell: North West 2 meters
Weather: overcast, mild
Day’s run: 125 nm sailed, 115 nm made good

The respite did not last long. It has been a rough 24 hours with more to come. It was only a matter of time before we got clobbered by a Tasman low, and last night and today has been it. I think we dealt with the worst of it last night, with the isobars tightening up ahead of the front. I don’t think the front proper has passed over us yet, but should do so soon. The barometer is down to 1004 Hpa. Looking at my weather charts, that should be about as low as it should get and I am watching the ‘glass’ closely waiting for it to start rising again. Oh, and the sky as well. Last night we experienced rain and some lightning. I ended up reducing down to the staysail only, because I could not see what was coming, so decided to err on the side of caution. In any event, the only option I had was to set the trysail or the mainsail triple reefed, and thought it wiser to wait for daylight before attempting to set either of these.

This morning, after attending to some minor damage that had ensued during the night (pushpit rail slightly bent, the windvane out of alignment, and the leeward spray cloths threatening to come adrift), I opted for setting the triple reefed mainsail, rather than the trysail, as it provides better drive to windward than the trysail. That has now been done, not an easy job, but I will not bore you with the tiresome details. It was arduous enough doing it once. Also, for now, I have disconnected the windvane self-steering. With it out of alignment it was likely going to confuse the situation, and with these conditions Sylph can sail herself, it is just a matter of trimming the sails to obtain the desired heading.

I am happy that we have made some reasonable progress in the desired direction in the last 24 hours, but unfortunately the winds will return to being strong headwinds again, I expect within a few hours, so again our progress will be slowed right down. Nonetheless, I console myself that we are getting there. ETA? I am going to go for 31 May. 1 June is probably more likely, but I like to be optimistic.

All is well.