Day 58 – Headwinds

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 9 Feb 2022 18:18
Noon Position: 55 23.9 S 065 32.8 W
Course: NNW Speed: 4 knots
Wind: NE, F6 Sea: moderate
Swell: negligible
Weather: sunny, cool
Day’s Run: 90 nm (79 made good)

We didn’t quite achieve our plan yesterday to get in to the lee of Peninsular Mitre but were some twenty miles south of it when the fresh northerlies started to pick up, generated by the remnants of the low that Coconut had to weather out in the open ocean two days ago. By 0500 this morning we were down to Sylph’s standard heavy weather canvas, three reefs in the main and the staysail, punching into a short sea. And at 0900 the wind increased further to force 8. I dropped the staysail allowing Sylph to ride to the triple reefed main alone.
I am glad to say that the gale force wind did not last for long and, while Peninsular Mitre was further away than I wanted, no doubt it still helped to keep the seas and swell from building up too much. And just an hour ago (1100) the wind eased sufficiently to allow the 50% of the jib to be set, at which time we also tacked onto starboard, heading NW in order to get closer to the shelter of the coastline. The wind is expected to freshen again from the NW this evening. With a little luck by then I can get close enough to have a comfortable night as we work our way towards the Cabo San Juan at the eastern end of Staten Island. Then, when the winds back into the SW tomorrow afternoon will be in a good position to continue across the Atlantic.
Meanwhile, some 300 miles to the WSW of the Horn, Coconut has gotten through round two. Mark has successfully navigated his little ship through the eye of the second depression. In this morning’s radio sched he reported experiencing gusty N’ly winds then a period of calm with confused seas followed by gusty winds from the south. Now that he has avoided the worst of the second low, he will be making best speed towards the Horn in the hope that he can find shelter behind the Wollaston Island Group, which Sylph passed yesterday afternoon, before low number three overtakes him.
While my thoughts are very much with Mark, Sylph needs attention. The sun is shining and the wind is easing. I need to go and shake a reef out of the main.
All is well.