Gray Above and Below

Day 132/10

Noon Position: 45 52S 176 12E
Course/Speed: ENE5
Wind: WSW10-15
Bar: 1022, steady
Sea: W3
Sky: Overcast
Cabin Temperature: 59
Water Temperature: 53
Sail: Twins headsails, poled out, full

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 145
Miles this leg: 1262
Avg. Miles this leg: 126
Miles since departure: 18,517

A gray boat sliding above a gray sea under a gray sky.

Today is unnaturally dark and still. The deck of cloud does not change; above is uniform; a light spot to the west holds its position; the foreboding sky astern does not advance.

For the third day we are coasting along before a light but steady breeze from just south of west. Sometimes it is more west, sometimes more south and never more than 15 knots. Mo’s wings are spread wide to catch it all, and we are chalking-up solid, respectable daily runs. Our next waypoint, the Chatham Island group, is now less than 300 miles off.

But nights are flat dark, though the moon is full, and dawn is ominously late. I sleep long. In the day I go about chores. I clean the cabin, making sure objects that could fly are stowed. I check chafe on lines that will be surely tested soon. In the afternoon I make a cup of tea and read Adlard Coles *Heavy Weather Sailing.*

And hour after hour we glide. It is beguiling. It is too quiet. The wind is too steady. Too favorable. It’s all a little too easy.

Only the continual gray gives any hint that things can turn.

And turn they will. In two days we will be beset by northerlies followed by the upper limb of two lows in succession. I’m eager to get above 45S, higher if we can, so as to avoid the stronger winds that will surely want to push us south.

But this wind we have now cannot be rushed. I cannot fly more sail. I cannot shorten the nautical mile.

So we coast on, hugging the outer edge of high pressure to the west. Riding the wind.

And I wait, holding my position in a gray boat on gray water under a gray sky.


2 Comments on “Gray Above and Below

  1. HI I’m reading this wonderful blog from New Zealand and am very pleased you’ve made it round our bottom. I expect that you’ll be back in a year. Bon voyage.

  2. Afternoon of may 4 EST looks like you are having an issue looking at your track. Hope all is ok.

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