Gentle Reaching

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 31 Jan 2024 01:28
Noon Position: 38 51.3 S 141 50.5 E
Course NW Speed 4.5 knots
Wind: SW, F3
Sea: slight Swell: SW 2 m
Weather: sunny, mild
Day's Run: 117 nm

We have enjoyed a very pleasant twenty four hours of close reaching to a mostly gentle SW'ly breeze. I put one reef in the main just on sunset as the wind started to freshen and also, when close reaching to a gentle breeze, one reef seems to make very little difference to boat speed, I suspect because the first reef flattens out the sail and improves its efficiency - something I might discuss with my sail maker when we get to Adelaide. Shortly after sunrise, with the breeze a settled force 3 (about ten knots), I shook the reef out again.
The forecast is for the wind to veer into the west later today and possible freshen to 20 knots. The big question is whether we will be able to make it past Cape Northumberland, where the coast trends away to the NW, before it does so. If we can then we should be able to make it around the Cape without having to tack. We are now thirty miles south of Portland and should be well past this last port of refuge for many miles hence by the time the wind shifts. So, unless things become very uncomfortable, my plan is to press on.
All is well.