A Bit Windy

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 1 Mar 2021 23:21
Position: 42 22.3 S 176 45.0 E
Course: ESE Speed: 5.5 knots
Wind: NNE F5 Sea: moderate Swell: NE 2 m
Weather: sunny, mild
Day’s run: 115 nm

So far things have gone pretty much as expected. We sailed and motored out of the Cook Strait in mostly light and fickle conditions. The tidal stream was with us but in places it also created a rather lumpy sea. By 1600 we were starting to clear the lee of the North Island and feel the cleaner air coming from the north, and longer more even seas. And, as we got further east, the wind continued to freshen. At sunset I reduced the mainsail to one reef. By midnight we were down to two reefs and 40% jib punching into a steep rough sea.

Initially the strong NE breeze pushed Sylph south of the rhumb line to Chatham Island. Indeed, for a while I thought it might once again be a bit much for me and Sylph and I contemplated aborting the passage. I considered reversing course back to Wellington or bearing away and making for Banks Peninsular but decided the easiest thing to do was to hold course overnight and see how things looked in the morning. And during the night the wind did ease and back a little allowing me to start the sheets and regain the rhumb line. This morning after sunrise I unrolled the jib to 70% to keep our speed up.

The forecast has these conditions remaining pretty constant for the next few days, all the way to Chatham Island. While a bit lumpy and uncomfortable, we are making good progress and if we maintain this speed we should arrive at Chatham Island around midday on Thursday.

(Oli slept with me during the night but now that I have vacated the bunk he has retired to his cubby hole at the aft end of the quarter berth.)

All is well.