Day 150 – Rounding Waypoint IO-N E

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 12 May 2022 07:41
Noon Position: 03 52.3 S 095 00.8 E
Course: SE Speed: 5 knots
Wind: SSW Force 3
Sea: moderate Swell: W 2m
Weather: overcast, hot, humid
Day’s Run: 124 nm

After yesterday’s squall, the wind has remained relatively steady from the west, varying between force two and five. We have trimmed sail as necessary, running wing-on-wing since 2000. At 2030 I was summoned on deck by a loud retort. I quickly saw that the jib sheet had once again chafed through where it sits in the parrot beak at the end of the jib pole. This was a simple matter to fix. I rolled the jib up, dropped the pole, reset the jib on the port side, cut out the remnant of the knot, reattached the jib sheet, then reset the jib poled out to starboard. Next time it chafes through I will likely have to replace the sheet as it is getting a bit short.
At 0425 the wind picked up to force five and having learnt my lesson from the night before, I put two reefs in the main and reduced the jib down to 50%. However this time no squall overtook us and the wind gradually eased so that at 0725 we were back to full sail. Unfortunately the wind continued to ease and less than an hour later the wind was barely a force two and the sails were starting to slat badly. I put two reefs in the main and rolled up the jib to 80%. At least this kept us moving, albeit very slowly, and reduced the slatting to something tolerable. By late forenoon the wind had picked up a little and backed into the SSW. I dropped the pole and came onto the wind.
We are now sailing close hauled on the starboard tack making good four knots. Our current waypoint (IO-NE) lies some five miles off our starboard beam, so I think we can say that we have effectively rounded it. The next waypoint (IO-SE) is in position 30S 090E, again chosen to ensure we clock up the miles needed for our circumnavigation and to use the SE trades to advantage. Hopefully by choosing this waypoint we won’t have the wind too far forward of the beam. However, Cocos-Keeling Island lies about 500 miles SSE of our present position and I reckon I will try to round that as well. I find an island or other physical landmark makes for a much more satisfying rounding mark than some imaginary dot in the middle of the ocean.
All is well.