Day 102 – Better Than Expected

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 25 Mar 2022 09:39
Noon Position: 43 12.8 S 058 08.9 E
Course: E Speed: 6 knots
Wind: N, F4 Sea: moderate
Swell: W 2 m
Weather: mostly cloudy, cool
Day’s Run: 158nm

The wind gradually freshened yesterday afternoon and at 1600 we had two reefs in the main, staysail set, and 40% jib, beam reaching on the port tack. Conditions remained stable for much of the night though started to picked after midnight which had me put a third reef in the main and roll up even more jib, expecting the wind to freshen further with the approaching low and a rapidly falling barometer.
However, when I awoke after a solid sleep at 0800 (a good indication that conditions had remained very mild), Sylph was jogging along at a sedate five knots, the sun was shining and the wind had clearly eased. I donned foulies, went on deck, shook a reef out of the main and unrolled most of the jib. Then followed doctor's orders and had a bit more rest.
The barometer continues to fall but not as quickly as it was yesterday, and with patches of sunshine and only a moderate breeze blowing, I am hopeful the forecast gale for later today will be more on the fresh breeze side rather than a full on tempest. As ‘tis said, hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
We've enjoyed the company of lots of bird life over the past week or so, particularly the company of numerous White Chinned Shearwaters; "habitual ship followers" Harrisons 'Seabirds' describes them as and that they are, continually wheeling and soaring close astern. We have also enjoyed the company of the odd majestic Wandering Albatross (I am getting better at recognising my various albatross), plus the usual little prions and petrels. They have thinned out quite a bit today. Perhaps I am straying too far north for their comfort.
My battery conservation plan appears to be working. The batteries are slowly recharging though quite a ways to go until they are close to being full.
And crew health appears to be highly satisfactory also.
All is well.