April 1, 2019
Noon Position: 39 49S 38 20W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): NE 6
Wind(t/tws): WNW 17 – 20
Sea(t/ft): NW 5
Sky: Alt Cum 3, mostly clear
10ths Cloud Cover: 3
Bar(mb): 1021+ steady
Cabin Temp(f): 72
Water Temp(f): 65
Relative Humidity(%): 80
Sail: Working jib and main, one reef; reaching.
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 122
Miles since departure: 24,492
Avg. Miles/Day: 137
Leg North Days: 12
Leg North Miles: 1,543
Avg. Miles/Day: 129
Wind went light overnight, but that wasn’t so much the issue as the SE setting current we had to plow through. Speeds over the ground were four knots and less, though we were much faster through the water.
Rain by sunrise with a twenty knot northwesterly and a deck of very serious cloud, low and ragged and a reminder that this is not the tropics and our blessedly steady wind is not blowing trade just yet.
Today we officially departed the Roaring Forties.
Mo entered 40S from the north Pacific on November 15th of last year–four and a half months ago. In that time we’ve sailed nearly 20,000 non-stop miles below the Capes, and most of that below latitude 45S.
Psychologically and physically it is a relief to be headed out. There is no one thing that makes sailing in the Roaring Forties difficult, but the compounding of cold, lack of consistent sleep, constantly shifting winds driving sail change after sail changes, the race to stay on top of maintenance issues, extreme boat motion, concerns for the actual (not forecast) intensity of the next low and the push to move to a safer quadrant, concerns for the exit gate, Cape Horn, and the sheer length of time a full lap requires…were all beginning to wear.
I am deeply, deeply grateful to have seen so much southern ocean. I could never have expected to be so lucky as to spend the better part of two consecutive summers communing with the great waves and the Wanderers, exploring the most mysterious and awing wilderness on the planet.
That said, I’m ready to depart for easier climes … for now.