Fair Winds

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 6 Jun 2024 02:25

Position: 37 44.1 S 140 06.8 E
Course: NW Speed: 3.5 knots
Wind: SE, F3 - gentle breeze
Sea: slight Swell: WSW, 2m
Weather: sunny, cool
Day's Run: 84 nm

Once again the weather pattern for the last 24 hours has been dominated by light winds and calms but, at long last, we have a fair breeze, though lighter than I was hoping for.

We ended up motoring for all of yesterday afternoon until 1840 when a light breeze filled in from the SW. I shut down the BRM and set the code zero which had us moving at about two and half knots. We managed to continue sailing through the night with the wind backing into the SE and freshening slightly from a light breeze (BF2) to a gentle breeze (BF3), allowing us to run wing-on-wing until 0500. From there the wind backed into the east and eased again back to force 2. We continued sailing in the light breeze until 0635 when the noise of the sails clattering as Sylph rolled to the long low swell out of the SW got the better of me. I rolled up the jib and once more started the BRM.

We motored for just over an hour when I started to feel the need for some sleep. I shut down the engine and allowed Sylph to drift while I got some much needed bunk time. I got up an hour later to find a light SE'ly breeze had at last picked up and was happy to be able to set sail once again, wing-on-wing, and continue making way towards Adelaide.

Now I need to make a decision; namely, whether to pull into Robe, only 40 miles ahead, for a rest, or to continue on for another 220 miles to Adelaide. If we continue on we can expect more calms tomorrow and then head winds on Friday. It would be manageable, but would involve more motoring and more bashing to windward. On the other hand I haven't visited Robe for a long time and it is a pretty town. The Caledonian Inn do a great lamb shank and has a cosy fire in the winter months. Combined with nice glass of red the temptation is almost irresistible. And it is off season, so not many tourists. I still have plenty of time in hand to make it for the grand event so, on balance, I reckon I will take a break and continue with the next favourable weather pattern. I am sure Oli will approve.

All is well.