Below 40 South

November 16, 2018

Day 43

Noon Position: 41 29S 113 31W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SExE 6 – 7

Wind(t/tws): NWxW 19 -21

Sea(t/ft): NW 10

Sky: Low, gray, solid, undifferentiated. Drizzle.

10ths Cloud Cover: 10

Bar(mb): 1003+, falling

Cabin Temp(f): 63

Water Temp(f): 51

Relative Humidity(%): 76

Sail: Headsails poled out, deeply reefed. Running.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 167

Miles since departure: 5492

Avg. Miles/Day: 128

A good day for mileage and hard earned. I ran the headsails out after dinner and spent much of the night tucking them in a bit, tucking them in a bit, and then in a bit more as wind increased. By midnight winds were a steady 25 knots. By 3am, they were 30.

It’s an interesting fact that one’s ability to carry sail has as much to do with the sea state as the wind. By early morning, seas were lumpy and large and Mo labored. I rolled the headsails up as much as ever was possible and still have them attached to the poles, and we flew at 7 and 8 knots, but it was a rough ride. In a different sea state, I could have carried them much fuller.

Wind is coming west now, and I spent the last hour shifting the headsails from one side to the other. By the time I finished, the wind had already moved south of west. The poles will have to come down before dinner … and go back up tomorrow morning. Welcome to the ever-changing south.

This has not been a heavy blow at all. But it has felt heavy. Seas were bigger and harder than one would expect for 25 knots of breeze, and their crashing crests were ice blue below a featureless slate sky.

We have crossed under the 40th parallel of latitude, and things are changing fast now. The cabin was 55 degrees at dawn. Water temperatures are about to dip below 50. I wore the fleece hat all day and put on thermal underware after lunch. One sun shot at 2pm, but not another. Drizzle or fog most of the day. No birds yet.

I ate the last apple after breakfast. Forty-three days they lasted and through the tropics. Good on them. And I opened the first cheese packet. These were double bagged, buried deep and let alone in the tropics as they’d have been a goopy mess, but the time is ripe, and the manchego was tasty.

5 Comments on “Below 40 South

  1. Hi Randall, I got my maps of the Pacific and southern ocean and am plotting your position and course every few days. It makes your voyage seem more a part of my life to watch you moving south and reading about the conditions as you sail. A question: Do the gray and lumpy seas you encounter as you move into the southern latitudes make you feel as gloomy as they look to me. I know when I sail in such weather it’s a damper on my usual ebullient mood and I hope you have a method or personality to prevent that. Your trip is a long time to face such mood swings alone. Be safe, Chuck

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