Day 167 – Still Punching

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 29 May 2022 07:01
Noon Position: 27 12.0 S 088 01.5 E
Course: SSE Speed: 4 knots
Wind: E Force 5
Sea: moderate to rough Swell: SE 3 m
Weather: mostly sunny, warm
Day’s Run: 121 nm

First of all, I learned yesterday that Mark and Coconut have at last finished the Golden Globe Race 2018. It must be some sort of record for the longest time to finish a race but they finished it and came first (and last) in the Chichester Division. Just finishing such a challenging race is a real achievement and Mark has my heartiest congratulations. Now I believe he will have quite a bit of work to do to get Coconut ready in time for GGR-2022. No doubt he will have learned lots of valuable lessons in completing his circumnavigation, particularly in rounding Cape Horn, which will put him in good stead to successfully complete the 2022 race.
Meanwhile, Sylph and I continue to battle contrary winds, trying to work our way south to round our final waypoint, now bearing 150° at 190 miles. Last night we continued under triple reefed mainsail and staysail, beam reaching to the strong ESE wind to make good a course of SSW. This morning the wind has at last eased a little and shifted into a more favourable direction, namely east, allowing us to set a bit more sail and make some minimal easting, or at least not be driven further west. Since dawn the wind has been fluctuating in strength quite a bit and I have responded by unrolling a bit of jib as it eases then rolling it back up when it freshens again. Currently we are under double reefed main and staysail with the jib fully rolled up.
The forecast for tomorrow has the wind easing to force four and backing further into the NE. This should allow us to set more sail and make directly for our waypoint, hopefully without too much more bashing against sea and swell, though I expect the sea and swell will continue to run from the east for some time yet. And looking at the latest weather faxes the high pressure systems are obstinately staying a long way south, the centre of the one currently dominating the map is at 40°S, which in turn means we are going to have to go even further south to find westerly winds.
As usual, we press on and see how things unfold.
All is well.