Noon Position: 47 34S 06 23W
Sail: Working jib, full; wind on starboard quarter
Sky: Fog, then high cloud
Cabin Temp: 53
Water Temp: 40 (note much colder)
Miles last 24-hours: 142
Miles since departure: 10,428
The Southern Ocean is working me today.
The forecast called for wind to do a 360 overnight as the center of a low rolled over us, and given there was little advantage in tacking through it, I planned to let Mo ride all the way around. But at 2am wind did a 180 and never completed the circle. I had to tack around anyway, an eerie and disorienting exercise in pitch dark and fog.
When we had daylight, I rigged the twins and anticipated canting them so that the southwest wind would drive us east. Success…for a few hours, but wind soon built to over 30, at which point I couldn’t reef the inner sail enough and still catch the winds. So, down came the poles. We rode the afternoon on the working jib free, wind on the starboard quarter.
In the late afternoon wind came on from the west. I poled out the twins but again wind built as the sky darkened and as I type we have 15 – 33 gusting 38. The twins are deeply furled, and all would be well except for the short but steep swell that keeps knocking the stern around. Poor Monte has his hands full as we teeter on that sharp edge between balance and wipe out.
Noticeably colder. The cabin says 48 degrees, but on deck, where I have spent most of my day, it feels arctic. Recently I said that my fingerless wool gloves allowed me to work on deck “indefinitely.” I would like to amend that to “definitely longer” than bare hands but not indefinite.” I’ve had four cups of coffee today and two of cocoa and am looking forward to boiled soup tonight.
The To-Do list got a chunk of fresh inventory this morning. The aft bilge pump has lost suction. Don’t know why as it’s new. The key that holds the pintle of the Watt and Sea in place is missing, though it was lashed to the rail with a keeper line. When I lifted Wattsy this morning, he came clean out of his bracket. And the furling line on the big genoa needs a few more wraps. This is disappointing as I’d thought I’d thrown too many on the spool to begin with, but the much stronger winds of late have shown that to be an error.