Day 93 – Better Than Expected

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 16 Mar 2022 10:43
Noon Position: 43 42.9 S 031 21.6 E
Course: SE Speed: 6.5 knots
Wind: NE, F4 Sea: slight
Swell: NW 1 m
Weather: overcast, cool
Day’s Run: 74nm (48nm Easting)

Conditions over the last 24 hours, I am grateful to say, have turned out much better than I was expecting. We had a period of calms and light variable winds in the late afternoon and evening but the swell dropped down to a long and relatively smooth two meters such that Sylph did not roll too badly at all. At 1825 what little wind there was departed and I handed all sail to prevent unnecessary chafing. At 1925 some wind returned and I hoisted all sail again, hopeful that the breeze might hold, but a half hour later it had faded away again leaving Sylph rolling gently and the sails once again flapping and chafing against the rig, so once more I handed all sail. Then at 2125 a light breeze returned, sufficient at least to keep the headsail full, so I unrolled that and lashed the helm slightly to leeward to keep Sylph’s head up into the wind a little and left Sylph to find her own heading. She settled on a course of 060 which was fine, and then a half hour later the breeze filled in a little more, sufficient for the mainsail, so back up it went. (I’ve got those nuisance lazy jacks with their changed geometry due to the new boom bag sorted out now, so dropping and raising the main is not the pain it was at the start of the voyage.)
And the breeze has remained a pleasant force 3-4 from the NE since then allowing us to make good 74 miles towards the Prince Edwards Islands, so it would seem they are now back on the agenda.
All is well.