Day 121 – Crossing Paths

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 13 Apr 2022 08:50
Noon Position: 19 09.6 S 072 35.9 E
Course: N Speed: 6.5 knots
Wind: ESE F4 Sea: slight
Swell: ESE 2m
Weather: sunny, warm, humid
Day’s Run: 135nm

We are into the trade winds proper now. With a steady fresh breeze from the ESE, we broad reach to the north. Later today will bear away a little to put the wind on the quarter and pole the jib out.
This afternoon we cross our outbound track from our first circumnavigation back in 2002, almost twenty years ago when the fates decreed that I needed to sail single-handed. While on several occasions I have attempted to resist this decree, my daemon keeps setting setting me back on the straight and narrow path. And now, here I am, attempting what is arguably one of the biggest challenges a person and a boat can undertake.
Another little marker that we cross today is the same parallel of latitude as Townsville, where my brother, Michael, and my two nieces, Kaylah and Ella, live. So an excuse to say good day to them. G’day Michael, Kaylah and Ella.
I did a rigging inspection yesterday up as far as the spreaders and found that there were a couple of broken wires in the upper swage of the fore lower starboard shroud, which is a bit strange because most of the time there isn’t that much load on the fore lower shrouds. I am not too concerned but I shall be monitoring it to make sure it doesn’t deteriorate further. The stay I am most concerned about is the forestay as with the roller furler it works extremely hard, particularly with the jib sometimes flogging badly when the wind picks up and it needs to be brought in. Also, the problem with the forestay is that it sits inside the furler extrusions so none of the stay is visible and therefore cannot be checked. All I can do is hope for the best. While all the rigging was replaced at the start of this voyage, and Sylph’s rigging is on the heavy side, clearly it has now done many arduous miles. Hopefully it will last the distance. On the plus side, now that the splices on the backstay have stabilised, I am quite pleased with how the synthetic rope is performing thus far.
All is well.