Day 127 – Hot

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 19 Apr 2022 08:23
Noon Position: 07 38.9 S 067 46.0 E
Course: NNW Speed: 3.5 knots
Wind: SE F3 Sea: slight
Swell: SE 1.5m
Weather: sunny, hot, humid
Day’s Run: 87nm

The trades have not quite abandoned us yet. They have eased off quite a bit, down to a force three which is just enough to keep Sylph’s sails full and drawing, and Sylph moving along at a satisfactory three to four knots. The forecast was for winds to be around five knots (force two) and normally if there is any swell at all, which there is, then five knots of breeze is not enough to keep the sails full and prevent the main from inexorably crashing from side to side as Sylph rolls to the swell. Indeed, I suspect it has been the mainsail slatting in light winds that has caused the broken wires in the starboard forward lower shroud, rather than strong winds.
All in all, I am very happy with Sylph’s progress. “Ocean Passages of the World” tells me that when the SW monsoon is established, sometimes the SE trades push through the doldrums and the wind gradually veers from the SE to the S and then SW as one passes north of the equator. However, we are approaching the equator in the monsoon transition period, so I am stealing myself to expect to be beset by long calm periods before we get into the SW monsoon. On the plus side, there are very few cyclones in this part of the Indian Ocean at this time of year, and I would rather suffer many calms than one cyclone.
This forenoon I put a second coat of primer on the rust spots I treated yesterday. Fortunately, once the preparation has been done putting on subsequent coats of paint doesn’t take very long, because it is getting rather hot out in the sun. The sea temperature is 29.5 C and down below the air temperature is 34 C, so one does not want to be standing around in the sun for too long. The best part of the day is the evening and night when, with these light breezes, I can stand beneath the mainsail and enjoy the fresh air flowing off the sail. Meanwhile, down below, one or more of Sylph’s fans are operating 24 hours a day.
All is well.