Tuesday 15 February – Day 64 – C oconut Continues

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 15 Feb 2022 15:51
Noon Position: 48 32.5 S 050 01.0 W
Course: N by E Speed: 6 knots
Wind: NNW, F5 Sea: moderate
Swell: NW 2 meters
Weather: mostly sunny, cool
Day’s Run: 104 nm

I had a phone call from Mark’s safety manager yesterday advising me that Mark was fine and that though Coconut has suffered some damage, it was mostly superficial and within Mark’s capacity to fix or overcome. (Thank you, Rod.) So, I am pleased to report that Coconut will be continuing towards France, without outside assistance and still as a competitor in the GGR2018 Chichester class – a good lesson in perseverance.
Meanwhile (reversing my usual order), Sylph makes good progress towards the Cape of Good Hope. We had a period of light winds and calms yesterday evening which were frustrating, as calms usually are, especially when a large swell is running. I hand steered for a while and managed to keep Sylph moving at about three knots for about an hour, but then this little breeze faded also so that I couldn’t keep the sails drawing. I then motored for a little bit (the oil warning alarm stayed off) and after an hour of that gave up on any usable wind arriving, dropped the main, left a bit of jib up to catch what zephyrs there were, and allowed Sylph to drift while I slept.
At 0130 I awoke to a light breeze. I stuck my nose out the companionway. Yep, the Australian flag on the backstay was fluttering steadily. The breeze was still quite light but looked strong enough to set some sail. I donned the clobber for venturing outside the cocoon of the saloon, raised the mainsail and unrolled the jib. The wind has since freshened, in near perfect accordance with Wayne’s forecast, and we are now close reaching with one reef in the main and 70% jib. The wind is forecast to increase further during the day to 30 knots, so it is probably going to get a bit bouncy.
From here Coconut and Sylph are going their separate ways. We have drawn too
far apart for reliable HF communications owithur previous radio schedule so I am going to try and set up a new one for the evening if Mark’s HF gear is still serviceable, but I am not optimistic.
This is very much a different voyage with different challenges now that we are past Cape Horn and no longer sailing in loose company with Coconut.
Advanced ship’s clocks to time zone +3 last night.
All is well.