Day 104 – Drawing Circles

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 27 Mar 2022 10:40
Noon Position: 42 43.4 S 061 41.4 E
Course: NNW Speed: 2 knots
Wind: Light / variable Sea: slight
Swell: NW 2m, SW 2m
Weather: overcast, mild
Day’s Run: 79nm (58nm Easting)

We carried a light breeze sufficient to keep Sylph’s sails drawing and Sylph heading roughly in the desired direction until 0300, at which time I put a reef in the mainsail to reduce the effects of it banging around as Sylph rolled in the swell and the fading air. Since then we have been drifting pretty much in circles but I am pleased to say that the seas have dropped off and the swell, while still significant, has smoothed out such that Sylph’s motion has on the whole been relatively sedate.
This forenoon I took the opportunity the light winds and calm seas presented to dismantle the jib furling drum and replace the chafed furling line with a new length of rope. Fortunately I had the good sense to purchase a 100 metre drum of 10mm rope for such eventualities prior to our departure. As mentioned yesterday, working on the furling gear while at sea is a nerve wracking business; if any critical item, even a small bolt, goes over the side there is a good chance that the furling gear would become unusable. However, I am very pleased to say that I managed to dismantle it, replace the furling line, and get it all back together again without losing anything.
Another cause for minor celebration was that yesterday we changed charts from the West Indian Ocean to the East Indian Ocean. Not only does the new chart have our next marker, Amsterdam Island, on it, it also has a glimpse of the edge of Western Australia peering over its eastern border. While we will be turning to the NW and away from Australia when we get to Amsterdam Island, there is something reassuring about its presence on the chart. One doesn’t feel quite so far from home.
A breeze is just starting to fill in.
All is well.