Light Winds off Zoe Bay

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 15 Sep 2019 04:24

Noon Position: 18 25.1 S   146 22.6 E
Course ENE   Speed 4 knots
Wind: SE,  F3 gentle breeze
Sea: slight  Swell: SE 0.5 m
Weather: sunny, warm
Day’s run: 83 nm sailed, 49 nm made good.

It has been another twenty four hours of light but steady winds, mostly from ahead. For the most part we have managed to work the wind to advantage which, given Sylph’s less than sparkling windward performance, with a tacking angle of 120 degrees compared to about 90 degrees for a more modern boat, one has to if one is to make any ground in the direction one desires to go in, at all.  So, as the figures show, similar to yesterday, we have sailed some 83 miles to make good a distance of 49 miles (in the right direction).

This morning at dawn the winds had fallen light and baffling such that Sylph was left drifting around off Zoe Bay on the east coast of Hinchinbrook Island.  Zoe Bay has a reputation for being very beautiful and is a recommended stop in all the cruising guides; however, as it is on the east side of Hinchinbrook Island and the prevailing winds are fresh south easterly, the opportunities to visit it are strictly limited.  Hence, despite passing this way many times, I have never pulled into Zoe Bay. Now seemed a good time.

I started the engine, furled the jib, and headed towards the mountainous coastline of Hinchinbrook Island.  As I entered the Bay, I discovered four other yachts at anchor. It all looked very nice but for some reason I just did not feel in the mood for swinging idly at anchor so, instead, I turned Sylph’s bow back towards the coral seas, motored back past Hillock Point, then shut down the engine to await some breeze ... which is just now filling in from the east sou’ east.

All is well.