Satisfactory Progress

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 29 Mar 2023 02:15
Noon Position: 36 56.0 S 138 21.9 E
Course: ESE Speed 5.5 knots
Wind: SSW F4
Sea: slight Swell: S 2 meters
Weather: partly cloudy, mild
Day's run: 87 nm

We cleared Cape Willoughby comfortably before the tide turned; however, once past the Cape we were greeted with a fading breeze. I attempted to maintain steerage way by setting the new code zero but not even this big new shiny red sail could keep Sylph moving in the windless but still lumpy ocean. Consequently I brought the BRM on line, clocking up a several noisy engine hours during the afternoon.
Fortunately, just on sunset, a soft breeze started to fill in and we were able set the jib and shut down the engine. Initially the breeze was from the SE, a direct headwind, but as the evening wore on it gradually veered more into the south which had the effect of gradually pushing Sylph further out to the west of our desired track. During the night the wind also freshened considerably and at 0410 I put a reef in the main. Towards dawn the wind had veered sufficiently to make a tack worthwhile and we are now close reaching on the starboard tack, punching into a short sea, making good close to six knots.
The wind is forecast to veer further into the SW this afternoon and by tomorrow the breeze should be fresh out of the west, putting the wind abaft the beam and making for a more comfortable ride. With a little luck by this time tomorrow we should be over the state border and into Victorian waters.
(Oli occasionally emerges for food but otherwise remains firmly ensconced under the bunk covers.)
All is well.