Cloud Castles

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 11 May 2021 02:42
Noon Position: 33 37.6 S 161 36.5 E
Course SW Speed 5 knots
Wind: WNW, F4 Sea: moderate Swell: NE, 2 meters
Weather: cloudy, mild
Day’s Run: 116 nm

The blue skies didn’t last for long. Since yesterday afternoon there has been a lot of cloud about and a few rain squalls requiring donning of foul weather gear to shorten sail. We got through the night with only one reef in the main and about 70% headsail. Only one substantial rain squall came through during the night, at 0530, to which Sylph heeled well over and picked up speed. I looked out the companionway at the dark night and heavy rain and contemplated putting on clammy wet weather gear once again. Meanwhile Oli had emerged from the cat cave and was nonchalantly tucking into some cat tucker. I was impressed. I decided to wait for a bit and sure enough, within fifteen minutes the squall had passed and Sylph was once more sailing sedately at a more comfortable angle and conservative speed. I returned to my warm bunk, joined almost immediately by Oli.

This morning, at 0800, I emerged from my cocoon to set all plain sail and was greeted by some of the biggest cumulus clouds I have ever seen, towering majestically into the heavens, brilliant white castles in the low slanting morning sun.

Looking at this morning’s weather fax, it would appear that a trough passed over us during the night which would account for the rain squalls. Now that the trough has passed conditions appear to be more stable though the wind has backed into the WNW, making for a headwind, so we are punching into a short sea on the starboard tack, making good a course of SW, not quite the right direction for Coffs Harbour but still roughly heading for Australia.

All is well.