Day 42 – Heading South

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 24 Jan 2022 21:35
Noon Position: 48 21.5 S 117 01.0 W
Course: SSE Speed: 5.5 knots
Wind: W, F4 Sea: slight
Swell: SW, 2 meters
Weather: light fog, cool
Day’s Run: 127nm

During our afternoon radio sked yesterday, Mark and I decided on a change of plan. Instead of continuing east to round the GGR mark and in the process being over-run by the low pressure system descending upon us from the NW, we would head SSE to allow it to pass to the NE of us and see if we could thereby escape the worst of its winds. Consequently, at 1630 I turned Sylph’s bow to starboard to steady on a course of 155T and we have been proceeding on that course since then.
Consultation with our weather guru last night confirmed that heading south for about three days would give us winds not exceeding 20 knots though we would be getting E’ly winds late Wednesday which are of course contrary to the direction in which we ultimately wish to go. However, both Mark and I agree that is a small price to pay for avoiding winds likely exceeding forty knots and from contrary directions which typically can create large, confused and dangerous seas. While our course alteration breaks the GGR 47°S line, this limit was always intended to prevent racing boats being overly competitive and going too far south into stormy seas and, as such, it would be waived when good seamanship dictated, as Mark feels is the case now. So, all agree we are remaining within the spirit of the GGR rules.
Of course the GGR rules do not apply to Sylph; however, Sylph and Coconut have yet to rendezvous. With my little nemesis just over the horizon and almost within reach, I have no intention of letting her get too far away now. As of this morning we figure she lies about 20nm to the east of us on a near parallel course. For now I shall attempt to continue to run parallel to her course and when I feel the moment is right, ease sheets a little and hopefully close her position from weather. Maybe tomorrow.
All is well.