Chasing the Tasman High

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 10 Jan 2020 01:26
Noon Position: 37 46.3 S 166 09.5 E
Course: ENE Speed: 4 knots
Wind: N, F3 gentle breeze
Sea: slight. Swell: S 2.5 m
Weather: sunny, mild
Day’s run: 105 nm sailed, 85 nm made good

We continue our search for a favourable breeze. Thus far the winds have remained obstinately from the ENE. Last night, at 0230, the wind faded and we resorted to the BRM for several hours in the hope that it might help us to overtake the elusive Tasman high pressure system. The breeze returned at 0900 with a little more north in it, enough to allow us to make good an easterly heading, close hauled on the port tack, so I think we might at last be sneaking around it, that is if it doesn’t run away to the east again. Looking at the weather faxes, a frontal system is marching rapidly across the Tasman and will likely overtake us in a day or so. On this side of the high that means freshening N to NW winds, a brisk close reach at best, whereas I had been hoping for a more leisurely quartering breeze.

Still, we can’t complain. The last several days, while the wind has been on the nose, have made for delightful sailing, with mostly clear skies, sunny days, smooth seas and a long easy swell. Graceful seabirds have kept us company and a few small dolphins have paid us the occasional visit. The days have been stress free and the crew is well rested, especially Oli. Overall, morale is high (though I am afraid that I have had to put the first mate on water restrictions – no more luxurious bird baths!).

All is well.