Day 117 – NE SE Trades

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 9 Apr 2022 08:44
Noon Position: 26 33.06 09.4 E
Course: NNW Speed: 6.5 knots
Wind: NE F4 Sea: moderate
Swell: ESE 2m
Weather: cloudy, warm
Day’s Run: 152nm

The SE trade wind backed into the NE overnight pushing us further to the west than I was intending. I tried coming up on to the wind at one point but decided that the sacrifice in comfort and being able to get a reasonable night’s sleep in order to maintain our easting was not worth it. I have to say that making sure I get a reasonable amount of quality sleep is an important safety factor for me, fatigue management as it is called these days.
The port spray cloth came adrift last night when the grommets pulled out of its leading edge. This was not too surprising as in these conditions it spends a lot of time submerged, dragging through the water as Sylph heels over to port and rolls with the sea and swell. I repaired it this morning, replacing the metal grommets with some webbing. Webbing does a much better job of spreading the load over the canvas than grommets which invariably pull out after a bit of heavy weather.
Another minor problem is that the starboard lazy jacks have come adrift again. I have temporarily re-rigged them using the trysail halyard but won’t be able to fix them properly until we have a patch of calmer weather so I can go aloft. The only problem now is that the upper part of the lazy jacks has flipped over the leech of the mainsail and managed to tie its end into a nice little Blackwall hitch around the port cap shroud, which in turn means that I won’t be able to set more mainsail (currently at two reefs) until I can go aloft as well. Oh well, most likely when I want to set more mainsail conditions will hopefully have eased sufficiently so I can climb aloft and sort things out.
The wind has eased a little for now and I have come more onto the wind so as to head more north than west. The wind is forecast to pick up again tonight, still from the NE, so I expect we will likely lose more ground to the west. Not to worry, I am confident as we get further north we will have some fairer weather and some pleasant sailing.
All is well.