Day 191 – A Strong Finish?

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 22 Jun 2022 03:38
Noon Position: 34 37.4 S 132 54.7 E
Course: ESE Speed: 6.5 knots
Wind: N Force 4
Sea: slight Swell: W 2m
Weather: mostly sunny, mild
Day’s Run: 138 nm

We have an excellent forecast to complete our circumnavigation with a strong
finish. Yesterday afternoon the winds had eased significantly and Sylph was
down to three to four knots. Indeed, for a while I had to reduce sail to two
reefs in the main to prevent it from slatting in the SW swell. I also
altered course to place the swell more on our stern and thereby increasing
the relative wind which in this instance helped considerably. On the down
side, it meant that we were making a course of 070°, heading some 40 degrees
north of our desired course.
Our ETA of Friday was looking shaky. I would prefer to get in Friday if
possible otherwise we will either have to pay the Department of Agriculture
their exorbitant overtime rates or loiter around the Gulf of St Vincent
until Monday. Neither is a very attractive option but of the two I would
probably rather sail around the Gulf for the weekend.
However, all is not lost. Overnight the winds have gradually increased and
veered into the NNW. Sylph’s fastest point of sail, particularly in lighter
winds, is a beam reach so we have have remained on a course keeping us a
little north of our planned track, sailing a few extra miles for the
increased speed and additional comfort. The wind is due to freshen further
from the NW later in the day as a frontal system moves in. As it does so we
will turn to our proper course and pole the jib to port, to run wing-on-wing
towards Investigator Strait.
The front is due to arrive at Investigator Strait Friday morning which will
have the winds backing into the SW, perfect for us to then run on up the
Gulf to Adelaide for the final leg. So I am hoping that with a bit of luck
we will still make our ETA to Outer Harbour, Port Adelaide before close of
business Friday.
All is well.