December 31, 2018
Noon Position: 46 33S 28 03E
Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 7
Wind(t/tws): NW 24 – 28
Sea(t/ft): NW 8
Sky: Overcast, drizzle
10ths Cloud Cover: 10
Bar(mb): 1008, falling
Cabin Temp(f): 57
Water Temp(f): 45
Relative Humidity(%): 81
Sail: Working jib, 2 reefs, broad reach
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 163
Miles since departure: 12,021
Avg. Miles/Day: 137
Days since Cape Horn: 31
Miles since Cape Horn: 4,367
Avg. Miles/Day: 141
The low came on overnight. I reefed the main down to the second position after dinner, the third position at 1:30am, and dropped it altogether at 6am. By that time winds were a steady 30 – 35 NW. Mo rides easily with just the small jib and is just as fast, and so I’ve kept that configuration all day, rolling out a bit more sail as winds ease; tucking it back in when they increase. Mo froths her way through the lumpy sea.
In the last seven days, we’ve logged over a thousand miles, and that’s the second week of such speed. This last week, 1,060 miles, and the week before, 1,045, to be precise. By way of comparison, that’s roughly the distance between San Francisco and New York City, and it only took us fourteen days.
Better yet, almost all that mileage was easting.
On that point, I’ve started tracking what I call Longitude Made Good. When the goal is to get from one spot on a circle around and back to that spot again (Cape Horn to Cape Horn), there’s only one direction that counts. And when on a boat that’s being blown north a little this week and south a little the next, the best way to track true progress is by how many degrees of longitude have been traversed in a given time.
For example, back on December 28, our noon-to-noon run was a solid 166 miles. But there was a fair bit of southing in there, and when I compared the beginning longitude with the ending longitude, we’d really only made 150 miles of easting. (In long form: Dec 28, 16 degrees 51 minutes East minus Dec 27, 13 degrees 19 minutes East equals 3 degrees and 32 minutes of easting. Most of that was at longitude 45, which has 42.42 miles per degree equals 150 miles.)
So then, today:
Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 3 55
Longitude Miles Made Good: 163 (at Lat 46S)
Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 95 18
That last one is the kicker. It’s a circle we’re circumscribing; thus we must pass through a full 360 degrees to get back to where we started, of which we’ve done 95 degrees and 18 minutes.
Long way to go.
I the afternoon, I punched through the gloom of distances yet to be traveled and the gloom of a gale with drizzle by making Lemon Pound Cake. After the success with brownies, my wife reminded me I have several boxes of this yellow delicacy aboard. Butter, water, packaged mix: mix: bake. Like a little (well ok, a big) bite of summer.