Day 71 – More North

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 22 Feb 2022 15:07
Noon Position: 44 23.9 S 030 49.7 W
Course: ENE Speed: 6.5 knots
Wind: W, F5 Sea: moderate
Swell: SW 3 meters
Weather: overcast, mild
Day’s Run: 162nm (146nm made good)

We have enjoyed a good day’s run with the wind veering into the SW late yesterday afternoon, allowing Sylph to run wing-on-wing, jib poled to starboard with a reef in the main to port. The wind has also gradually freshened and at times Sylph has been pushing eight knots. I got up a couple of times in the night, donned foul weather gear and went on deck with the intention of shortening sail, but each time I did so and surveyed the scene Sylph seemed quite happy, not at all stressed, the Australian flag fluttered on the backstay (my main wind indicator) rather than flapping wildly, and the decks were dry, so I returned below and left Sylph to it.
This morning, however, at 0910 I decided the time had come to reduce sail. The seas had picked up and Sylph was starting to yaw around such that the windvane self-steering was having to work hard to maintain course. So now we have two reefs in the main and the jib, still poled out, has been rolled down to 60%. We have also gybed so as to gain a little more ground to the north. Wayne has advised me of a ‘nasty’ low passing nearby in a couple of days time and I would like to be as far north of it as possible, hopefully thereby keeping the wind more west than north, and maybe, with a little luck, a little less than the 45 knots Wayne is forecasting.
Also, by heading north a little we can pass by Gough Island, 950 miles away in latitude 40° 20’S, which might add a spot of interest to all this water.
And for those interested, Kate tells me that Oli is doing a great impression of a happy cat at her brother’s place. Thank you Ross.
All is well.