Day 67 – Drying Out

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 18 Feb 2022 16:57
Noon Position: 45 52.5 S 040 27.1 W
Course: ENE Speed: 6 knots
Wind: SW, F4 Sea: slight
Swell: SW 3 meters
Weather: cloudy with sunny periods, mild
Day’s Run: 150nm

The S’ly gale has pushed us well north into lower latitudes and, I am pleased to say, into fairer weather. The wind had eased sufficiently towards sunset yesterday to allow the main to be reset with three reefs and 30% jib poled to starboard. We ran wing-on-wing overnight and come first light the wind had eased further such that I was able to set full sail. I was well satisfied to be on deck with a clear sky as the sun broke over the horizon, Sylph’s sails fully spread shining golden white in welcome. It looked set to be a great day.
After breakfast I wasted no time in pulling bedding apart and dragging damp clothing and towels from the forepeak out into the air on deck. I am hoping that by the end of today I shall have a relatively dry bunk to climb into.
Lots of other little chores need to be done now that we have a period of fair weather. I have baked a loaf of bread (half eaten already), and climbed to the spreaders to recover a spare staysail halyard. And I still need to repair a broken block on the mainsheet traveller and open up the lazarette and dry that out as I am sure some water will have seeped passed the hatch seals in the heavy weather.
We are currently at latitude 45° 50’S. Chart 5309 entitled “Chart of the World showing Tracks followed by Sailing and Auxiliary Powered Vessels”, from that wonderful tome for dreaming of adventures, “Ocean Passages of the World”, has a line at 40S under which is written, “Note: Vessels may make quicker passages by going further South, but better weather as a rule will be found on or about this parallel”. So I reckon we might head a bit further north yet. On the other hand, we don’t want to go too far north and lose the wind. I will consult with the ineffable.
All is well.