A Spot of Solo Sailing

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 14 Sep 2019 02:12

Noon Position: 17 36.7 S   146 16.7 E
Course SE   Speed 4 knots
Wind: SSW  F3 gentle breeze
Sea: slight  Swell: negligible
Weather: sunny, warm
Day’s run: 72 nm sailed, 47 nm made good.

Its been nine months since I have done any solo sailing and lately I have been feeling the need for some alone time with Sylph to help blow away some blues. Kate has graciously agreed to let me take care of Oli while she does a little bit of exploring around the Cairns region.  So, yesterday afternoon, Kate packed a small bag and took the ferry from Fitzroy Island back to Cairns while I returned on board, had dinner then weighed anchor and got underway.

I decided to depart to the east of Fitzroy Island so as to have a better angle to the south-east wind. After rounding Little Fitzroy Island, we headed east for a bit into the fresh breeze with a reefed mainsail and partly furled headsail.  We then tacked and started heading south-west to start what I thought might be a rather long bash to windward. However, as I was hoping, the winds eased a bit during the night and a little after midnight we were reasonably close inshore picking up a land breeze allowing us to shake out the reef and parallel the coast. Since then I have stayed within a few of miles of the coast. Using the land breeze, we have been able to remain mostly close hauled on the starboard tack and have made reasonable ground in the desired direction (the first ten miles took seven hours whereas over the next seven hours we have managed thirty miles).

My plan is to keep heading south while the wind remains relatively light with a view to making Townsville as soon as possible where Kate will re-join the ship.

All is well.