Motoring in Calms

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 18 Dec 2020 23:35
Noon positions: 44 58.5 S 171 28.6 E
Course: SW Speed 5.5 knots (motoring)
Wind: calm Sea: calm Swell: NE 1m
Weather: sunny, mild
Day’s run: 113 nm

The last 12 have been dominated by the noise of the BRM (bright red machine) as we have motored through the light airs and calms that have prevailed since the NE’ly died out at 0125 this morning. Up until then we had enjoyed a great breeze, even having to reduce sail to two reefs for half an hour late yesterday when the wind picked up to force 6 as we passed south of Banks Peninsular, a rugged mountainous headland that juts out abruptly some 20 miles from the more regular coastline of South Island.

We have attempted to sail a few times but each time the tantalising puff has faded to nothing and left the sails slatting as Sylph rolls in the glassy swells. We are expecting a brief southerly late this afternoon followed by some more NE’lies. So the question is, do we pull into Dunedin for a look around or do we push on and make directly for Stewart Island. We will likely let the answer be determined by where we are when the southerly arrives and how fresh it is. In the meantime, Kate and I have been identifying the various seabirds that surround us, though most of them are now sitting on the smooth sea rather than soaring above its normally turbulent waves and swells.

All is well.