35 05.89 S 137
This morning I checked the forecast and while fresh S'ly winds were expected later in the day conditions for the forenoon were relatively light so I decided that we would get going and see where we ended up. But first we needed to top up with water and fuel. This was completed by 0920 and we then departed the fuel dock and motored out of Outer Harbor. We cleared the breakwaters at 0954 and as expected encountered very light conditions, too light to sail in so we continued to motor until we found some wind. At 1045 I tried setting the genoa on the new Dyneema outer fore stay but the breeze proved fickle and fifteen minutes later we doused the genoa and continued motoring. However, ten minutes later dark blue patches of water were forming to the south indicating a more consistent breeze was filling in and, with the forecast for a freshening breeze, I set the jib rather than the genoa, the mainsail having been set as we cleared Outer Harbor.
I didn't have a definite destination in mind for today as I was not sure whether the wind would prove too fresh to make significant ground to the south without excessive discomfort. As the breeze filled in I chose to remain close hauled on the port tack, making good a course of SW. If we continued on this heading we would make Edithburgh before sunset so I decided to carry on and see what happened.
At 1220 the wind freshened to a force four, and I put a reef in the main. Two hours later the wind freshened further to force five, to which I partially furled the headsail. So far Sylph was handling the conditions well so we pressed on. Oli on the other hand was not particularly impressed. He thought the best thing to do was to crawl under the cotton counterpane, making it clear that he was not to be disturbed until there was a significant improvement in the situation.
At 1600 we passed two and half miles to the north of Tapleys Shoal, still making good a course of SW at about five knots. By 1800 we were approaching Edithburgh jetty and while the wind was still a fresh force five, the seas were starting to moderate due to the protection provided by Troubridge Shoals. At 1810 I furled the jib, starting the motor ten minutes later, and handing the main at 1822 as we closed the Squadron moorings located behind the shelter of Sultana Point. We picked up the mooring at 1830 - on our second attempt as Sylph's way was insufficient in the strong breeze on my first attempt.
Once Sylph was secured I informed Oli that all was calm again and he duly surfaced from under the counterpane and proceeded to his food bowl before taking a round of the upper deck just to be sure.
Winds are forecast to be light tomorrow then fresh again from the south on Wednesday, with strong W'lies expected on Thursday. As mentioned in my previous post, the goal for this short voyage is to explore the western coastline of Eyre peninsular, as well as some of Kangaroo Island's northern coastline if possible. However, given the strong W'lies forecast for Thursday, I am inclined to think that Edithburgh might provide the best shelter until then. I will reassess the situation tomorrow morning with the updated weather forecast.
While this cruise will only be a relatively short (if all goes according to plan), it feels good to be out of the marina and sailing again.
All is well.