Mo and Randall Depart the Roaring Forties

April 1, 2019

Day 179

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.

7 Comments on “Mo and Randall Depart the Roaring Forties

  1. Good job down south Randall. Your updates are eagerly awaited every day. Wishing you all the best and continued ability to cope with the surprises lurking up north.

  2. Nice commentary and appreciate your ability to problem solve!

    Dave, Sailboat Calypso

  3. I’m with you, really been a tense time to follow too. Fair winds and following seas thank you!

  4. I think only Randall could say “beginning to wear” after that list. I for one would have been see through long before that.

  5. Randall: You are one brave MOFO! Glad you are heading to safer climes..

  6. Well said, captures life in the Roaring Forties perfectly. ( you will write a good book 🙂

  7. One question that struck me the other day as I thought about your journey: does the world feel bigger or smaller? On the bigger side, you’re taking the true measure of the globe. You know it mile by mile, and wave by wave. Getting around is taking a long time and requiring incredible persistence. But on the smaller side, you now have a complete circumnavigation of a continent under your belt and are half-way-ish through two more. I know the more places I visit, the less they seem unknown and far off. So how is it for you? Bigger or smaller?

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