Day 152 – #1 Headsail

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 14 May 2022 06:55
Noon Position: 05 49.6 S 095 31.2 E
Course: S by E Speed: 5 knots
Wind: ESE Force 3
Sea: slight Swell: S 2m
Weather: sunny, hot
Day’s Run: 80 nm

The winds continued light from the SE for the afternoon and towards sunset
were no longer strong enough to hold Sylph’s head up to the S’ly swell. It
seemed likely that we were going to have several days of light winds so with
the cool of the evening and the light of the large gibbous moon I thought it
a good time to change up to the number one headsail – the lightweight genoa.
When I had it hoisted and set it made an immediate difference (or perhaps
the wind had filled in a little). Sylph heeled over slightly, came up onto
the breeze and chortled away to the SSW at a soul-soothing three knots.
And I am very happy to report that we have continued to make good four to
five knots overnight. The wind has even backed a little into the ESE
allowing us at this stage to lay our course for Cocos-Keeling Islands. The
plan is to stay close-hauled for as long as the wind allows. I want to be as
far east as possible before the SE trades freshen and likely force us to
bear away to the SW. The weather fax shows that the cyclone in the Southern
Indian Ocean has dissipated and I suspect now that it is no longer
disrupting the normal weather systems that we are starting to get into the
trades. Whether they will continue to remain steady or strengthen is
something I will have to watch closely. I do not want to get caught out
having to change down to the working jib with the winds picking up to force
five or more.
However, for now the sky is blue lined with streets of puffy fair-weather
cumulus clouds, the sea is a rippled in the royal shade with just the odd
whitecap occasionally breaking. The large genoa is perfect.
All is well.