Day 41 – Light Winds Continued

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 23 Jan 2022 20:31
Noon Position: 46 46.6 S 118 16.8 W
Course: E Speed: 4.5 knots
Wind: SSW, F3 Sea: slight
Swell: SW, 2.5 meters
Weather: overcast, cool
Day’s Run: 90nm

Light winds continue to dominate the weather and the elusive Coconut remains somewhere ahead, by best estimates about 20nm to the east.
Overnight we ran before the light W’ly breeze with the jib poled to starboard and a reef in the mainsail, two reefs for a few hours, to reduce the amount of crashing about as the fully battened main slatted whenever Sylph rolled to the SW’ly swell (definitely not conducive to a good night’s sleep). This morning the wind has backed into the SSW so we have dropped the pole and are on a beam reach. With a little more pressure in the sails I have shaken out the reef and we are now moving a little faster and more comfortably. Also I am pleased to say that the fog has cleared.
Winds are expected to remain relatively light for the next couple of days but Wayne’s forecast predicts strong N’ly winds of 30-35 knots on Wednesday as a low pressure system descends upon us from the NW. By then Coconut and Sylph should be past the GGR turning point at 47S 110W which allows Coconut to start her approach to the Horn. I will of course be following suit. So the plan is to continue east until we reach the turning mark and then as the N’ly winds arrive to bear off and run SSE with the wind off the port quarter. When the winds go SW on Thursday as the low passes to the west of us then we will head east to put the wind on the opposite quarter and middle the swells. Anyway, that’s the plan. We will see how it unfolds.
As for the rendezvous with Coconut, I suspect that we are unlikely to meet up before the low makes its presence felt and that while our intentions are essentially the same, given the difference in the performance of the two boats I expect we will end up a long way apart by the time the blow is over. Whether it will be possible to still effect a rendezvous after the blow will depend on where we end up and what the weather does after that.
For now we will start making heavy weather preparations and worry about a rendezvous later.
All is well.