Fast Winds, Big Sea

February 187, 2019

Day 136

Noon Position: 47 16S  173 45W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 7+

Wind(t/tws): WxN 20 – 30

Sea(t/ft): W 10

Sky: Cumulus and squall clouds

10ths Cloud Cover: 7

Bar(mb): 1009+, steady. The bar has been between 1010 and 1008 for three days.

Cabin Temp(f): 60

Water Temp(f): 60

Relative Humidity(%): 70

Sail: Twins poled out, heavily reefed. Running dead down wind.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 162

Miles since departure: 18,734

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

Days since Cape Horn: 79

Miles since Cape Horn: 11,093

Avg. Miles/Day: 140

Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 3 56

Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 253 47

Avg. Long./Day: 3.21

Brisk winds with squalls continue. Nights have been kind; wind and seas have been steady, allowing good sleep. But the days are a wild card of open sky followed by squalls, then open sky again. The open sky episodes blow hard. The squalls blow hard, but wind is quite variable. Thus, I’ve had to reef the twin headsails way in for the sake of energy conservation. It’s either that or sit on deck with a winch handle in my hand all day.

It feels good to be on the move again. Already we are 800 miles east of The Snares. Cape Horn is less than 4,000 miles on a rhumb line course to Diego Ramirez. We could do that in a month with fast wind.

Sadly, even below 47S we are not immune to calms, which will overtake us by tomorrow.

My biggest concern at moment is a hurricane coming down from Vanuatu by way of Australia’s east coast. The forecast suggests it will impact New Zealand in a week, jump it entirely, and then move into the South Pacific. At that point, it won’t be a hurricane any longer, but it will still be a storm I’d like to avoid. I’m pushing to be well east of it. Winds over the next six days are not entirely favorable for that strategy.

On that note, have you noticed the water temperature? Today both air and water were 60 degrees at noon. That seems incredibly warm for down here.

Sail repair has taken the better part of the last three days but is nearly done. One last row is all that’s required.

I had hoped for a neat job, but it’s turned into a bit of a Frankenstein with stitches going every which way. Sewing is just not something I do often enough to have an approach.

Broke two heavy awl needles (of three) and drilled one clean through my left middle finger.

But I think the result is strong. Time will tell. Maybe relaunch the sail this week. I’m eager to put it back in play.

4 Comments on “Fast Winds, Big Sea

  1. Hi Randall,

    I have a question today. I noticed that you are headed dead downwind with twin poled-out headsails. How does Monte handle this situation? I’m new to windvanes. I’ve got an Aires I’ve been practicing with. But I’ve heard that they are notoriously finicky when running.



  2. Dear Nephew,

    Multiple times during the day I check your website for your voyage position and I run “Windy’s” projected status for days ahead. I am glad you are wisely aware of your weather status and that you carefully weigh all aspects of your voyage. Looks like you have 2 storms that you will encounter this week. Want you to know we are always praying for you, but will be praying that God will calm the upcoming storms. I agree with you — get east as quickly as possible after passing through the area of light or no winds! Love you Randall!!


    Aunt Nita

    P.S. Remember when you make your 1st stop to get some Vitamin C!!

  3. She speaks like a true Auntie!

    Um, excuse me, did you say you put a needle – not just any needle, but a big fat sail needle – straight through your middle finger??!! That’s a major and seriously painful injury unless you just caught the skin! And no photo??!! What’s going on, Randall? Tell us more about it.

    You’re doing wonderfully out there – keep on truckin!

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