Day 69 – Very Light Winds

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 20 Feb 2022 15:23
Noon Position: 46 02.2 S 036 17.3 W
Course: NE Speed: 2 knots
Wind: NW, F2 Sea: smooth
Swell: SW 2 meters
Weather: overcast, mild
Day’s Run: 81nm (65nm made good)

Light winds continue to dominate and the order of the day has been to try to
keep the sails full and Sylph moving. To that end we have had one, sometimes
two, reefs in the mainsail to stop it from bashing around in the now long
low swell, and the jib has been rolled up and the repaired drifter set in
its place.
Light winds with the rolling of the boat and the slatting of sails actually
puts a lot of strain on Sylph’s gear and generally causes a lot of chafe.
Indeed, yesterday afternoon, while trying to get the drifter to set, I was
dismayed to hear a clatter from aloft as the boom topping lift block once
more parted ways with the masthead. Investigation revealed that the sheave
pin had separated from the block’s cheek and the whole block had fallen
apart. Scratch another block. I have since climbed the masthead, once again,
and replaced the block with a heavier one, the heaviest one I have, though I
think the problem was not that the block was undersized but that it was old.
I believe the pin had corroded where it was pressed into the cheek and all
the crashing about of the mainsail had caused it to pull out. When we make
it back home I shall do a make-over of all of Sylph’s blocks.
The winds are forecast to remain light until later this evening when they
will start to pick up from the south. By Tuesday they will be blowing a near
gale from the west. My plan will be to allow the S’lies to push us back
north about a degree where the winds are expected to be not quite so fresh,
but not too far north – looking for the Goldilocks zone.
Just had a visit by a large pod of pilot whales accompanied by a pod of
southern right whale dolphins, the latter full of acrobatic leaps and
splashes. They overtook Sylph on a NE'ly heading and have disappeared off to
the north.
Advanced clocks 1 hour to time zone +2
All is well.