Day 91 – Easing

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 14 Mar 2022 11:17
Noon Position: 43 04.5 S 027 17.8 E
Course: E Speed: 5.5 knots
Wind: SW, F5 Sea: moderate
Swell: WSW 4 m
Weather: overcast, cool
Day’s Run: 161nm

The wind remained fresh overnight with the swell and sea building to a combined four to five meters. While our desired course is ESE, with such a large sea and swell I chose to run off with it on our starboard quarter as being much more comfortable and safer than trying to reach across it. Sometimes I just stare in quiet amazement at how Sylph handles these conditions, with steep seas from astern, sails wing-on-wing, and the windvane self-steering keeping everything all lined up.
Once again last night I found myself debating with myself as to whether I should reduce sail or not, but have come to the conclusion that generally Sylph is in less danger of broaching if she is travelling close to hull speed rather than slower. My theory is that the sails have plenty of pressure in them and combined with Sylph’s spoon bow, this helps to keep the various forces in balance and everything relatively stable. And having a nice steady fast flow over the windvane rudder makes it that much more effective helping to counter any waves that do break close to her stern and want to push her off course.
Now the winds have eased down to a force 4, a moderate breeze so I have dropped the whisker pole and brought Sylph round to an E’ly heading. At this stage I am thinking that with the wind in the south it will likely be too much like hard work to make the Prince Edward Islands. However, they are still 500 miles ahead so, as usual, we will see how things unfold.
All is well.