Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 12 Mar 2021 23:28
Noon Position: 39 34.7 S 179 23.0 W
Course: NNE Speed: 6 knots
Wind: S, F5 Sea: rough Swell: S 2.5 m
Weather: overcast, occasional drizzle, mild
Day’s run: 159 nm

The wind veered into the south late yesterday and freshened. At 1935, just before sunset, I gybed while I could still see what I was doing. Later, it was apparent that Sylph was straining with the increased wind speed, at least beyond what I was comfortable with. So, at 2125 I furled the jib, dropped the pole, reset the jib to starboard, and handed the mainsail. Even with the reduced sail area we were still making on average about seven knots but, while we were rolling more without the stabilising influence of the main, Sylph felt less stressed and so did I.

We have had a rather bouncy, unpleasant night. Oli sought comfort with me in the sea bunk for much of the night despite my getting up at regular intervals to check that Sylph was OK. Now that I am up for the day, he has returned to the security of his hidey-hole in the aft end of the quarter-berth. And it was not so rough that he did not venture to his food bowl in the early hours of the morning wanting me to top it up. Overall, he is doing very well as the ship's cat; almost as cantankerous as the sipper.

As I had hoped, we have made excellent time with the strong favourable winds, posting a day’s run of 159 miles. Winds are expected to ease but remain fresh from the south so I remain optimistic that we will arrive off East Cape around midday tomorrow.

All is well.