Heavy Seas and Cold Feet

November 18, 2018

Day 45

Noon Position: 44 48S 109 13W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SExS 6

Wind(t/tws): W 18 – 22

Sea(t/ft): SW 10 – 12

Sky: Stratus trending to clear

10ths Cloud Cover: 5

Bar(mb): 1008, falling

Cabin Temp(f): 61

Water Temp(f): 48

Relative Humidity(%): 64

Sail: #2 genoa and one reef in the main, broad reach

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 149

Miles since departure: 5767

Avg. Miles/Day: 128

By 8 o’clock last night, I’d dropped the main; by 10 o’clock, I’d changed down to the smaller of the two headsails. A little later, two reefs. The sky had come down as the sun set, but the moon shown through. The diaphanous cloud raced east with grim intent.

By noon today, it was nearly clear. The main flew again with one tuck in it and the genoa, full. We’ve frothed along all day like that as a big-as-city-blocks swell rolls under Mo’s keel, reminding that the gentleness of the moment is not to be expected for long.

The cabin thermometer stood at 55 degrees when I woke. Two hours later, it had risen to a balmy 57. Water temperature is below 50 and will continue its downward slide all the way to the land of icebergs. I expect the cabin to be in the mid 40s in a week.

I don’t heat the cabin at sea. So, the first, light base-layer of thermals went on today. Smart Wool, top and bottom, silky soft, smelling delightfully of laundry detergent, and immediately warm. My favorite albatross emblazoned “mascot” hat, the gift of Daryl Ridgeway of Hobart and actually the hat of the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania, hasn’t been off my head in days.

And new UG boots were dug from a forepeak locker, the boot worn in the cabin for comfort and warmth. That old pair were the go-to boots in the arctic in 2014 and all through the south last year, so they did their part. But the inner fleece was worn down to the rubber soles. Slipping into them of a morning was like sticking one’s foot inside a cold fish.

I’m starting to eat more and eat constantly. A full cup serving of oats loaded with nuts and fruit and three tablespoons of powdered milk followed by a Clif bar for breakfast, for example. Tonight’s dinner, last night’s leftover curry, which was intended to be two, full meals (all my dinners are designed that way), will have to be augmented tonight to do the job because last night I just couldn’t stop eating.

No more than one beer, though. I departed San Francisco with 184 cans. Must make them last.

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