Round the Corner

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 1 Feb 2024 02:08
Noon Position: 37 30.7 S 139 43.7 E
Course NNW Speed 6 knots
Wind: WSW, F4
Sea: slight Swell: SW 2 m
Weather: overcast, mild
Day's Run (24.5 hours): 125 nm

We continued close reaching overnight trying to gain as much westing as we could so as to make it around Cape Northumberland before the wind shifted into the west. And we made it, though at one point it seemed a near run thing.
Around 0200 this morning the wind veered and freshened. I put a reef in the main and came hard on the wind. Fortunately the wind had only strengthened to about 15 knots so we were still able to make good speed. At this stage our course had us closing the coast and would have required a tack to clear the Cape. Drawing a few lines on the chart and given Sylph's usual tacking angle of 120 degrees, the wind shift looked like it was going to add about sixty miles to our passage. But fortunately, half an hour later, the wind shifted back into the WSW and it became clear that we were in fact going to make it around the SE corner of SA quite comfortably.
Now we are beam reaching along the low lying shoreline, barely visible in the distance, just a few sand hill peaks occasionally showing above the horizon. We are approaching cray fishing territory and while we are still a fair way off the coast we are keeping a good eye out for the small fishing boats that work this area, having spotted one earlier this morning. (Like most fishing boats, the lobster men do not transmit on AIS so one has to rely on seeing them with the mark one eyeball to avoid them.)
From here the plan is to continue straight through to Adelaide. The winds
are forecast to become light and variable on Saturday so, with 200 miles to go, my best guess at an ETA is sometime Sunday.
Ship's clocks have been retarded 30 minutes to SA time.
All is well.