Light and Variable

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 8 Feb 2021 00:00
Light and Variable
Noon Position: 46 48.3 S  169 24.2 E
Course: WSW Speed: 4 knots
Wind: SE F3  Sea: slight  Swell: E 1.5m
Weather: generally overcast with patches of fog and occasional sunny periods
Day’s run: 107nm

As we approached Nugget Point at around 2200, as forecast, the wind faded to light variables. At 0100, with the mainsail slatting and Sylph’s speed down to less than two knots, reluctantly I once more resorted to the BRM and tiller pilot (a wonderful contraption though it does make it so much easier to resort to the engine). At 0300 we had a light head wind and the seas had settled making it possible to sail again, so sail we did. At 0900 the wind once more turned light and contrary so once more some motoring, but it was only for an hour and now we are beam reaching to a light south east breeze which is forecast to freshen this afternoon from the NE.

With the lighter breezes the windvane isn’t working so hard, so the creaking has lessened significantly. I am confident we will make it to Stewart Island without any problems. I would of course be very disappointed if we had to turn back yet again. My plan is to make for Halfmoon Bay where there is the small township of Oban. While it is small, it has some good services and while we are there I will also top up the fuel tanks. The weather on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, especially around Puysegur Point, can be treacherous and if we need to motor to keep away from the nasty lows that have a habit of descending on the area very quickly, then that is what we will do.
I expect we will arrive at Stewart Island some time tomorrow morning. New Zealand’s Metservice is forecasting 40 knot westerlies late tomorrow so we really would like to get in before then.

Meanwhile, I think Oli likes his new cubby hole in the aft end of the quarter berth. Previously it has been chockful of gear but more recently I have managed to rationalise some of its contents (ie restowed or ditched) and now he can get right down the back and curl up well away from the noisy smelly engine. Also, as part of Sylph’s refit I had lined and insulated the quarter berth so that it is now a lot more comfortable than it used to be. Smart cat.

All is well.