No Wind

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 5 Jun 2024 03:02

Position: 38 38.7 S 141 20.1 E
Course: NW Speed: 3,5 knots
Wind: WSW, F2 - light breeze
Sea: calm Swell: WSW, 2m
Weather: overcast, cool
Day's Run: 19nm

While I was expecting light winds, they have been lighter than hoped for, unfortunately insufficient to allow us to continue sailing. I motored for a while yesterday evening, partly to keep Sylph moving and partly to recharge the batteries which have not been getting much sunshine into them with the overcast sky and short winter days. I have tried sailing sporadically but to no avail and at 2230 gave up, put two reefs in the main, shut down the engine and left Sylph to drift for the night.

Getting up every hour to check conditions, we had a little wind at 0300. I set sail again. Initially we made good about 2.5 knots (while drifting I worked out that there is a SE current of one knot pushing against us), but by 0530 the light breeze had abandoned us. I handed sail and once more allowed Sylph to drift to the current.

This forenoon another light air from the WSW induced me to try sailing again. Apparently the air was too light to get a large black-browed albatross airborne, which floated close by and paddled after me as I went forward to set the code zero. (Presumably it must get the odd feed from fishing boats for I could think of no other reason why it looked at me so intently.) The code zero pulled us away from our feathered companion at a couple of knots, but only for an hour or so. Just before midday the sails started to collapse again as the swell induced breeze overcame the fading gradient wind, back-winding the mainsail as each swell rolled past.

Now I have once more resorted to the BRM. We motor-sail and I am pleasantly surprised to find that we are making good just on four knots with the engine ticking over at 1300 rpm.

We push forward as best we can, on towards the all important birthday celebration, patiently awaiting a fair breeze which, looking at the latest weather map, is going to be weaker than indicated in previous prognoses. Robe looks increasingly likely as our next port of call.

All is well.