On the Edge of the Roaring Forties

November 15, 2018

Day 42

Noon Position: 39 18S 115 45W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SE 7

Wind(t/tws): N 18 – 20

Sea(t/ft): N3, S5

Sky: Low and gray but not dark

10ths Cloud Cover: 10

Bar(mb): 1020, falling; 1017 by 5pm.

Cabin Temp(f): 66

Water Temp(f): 56

Relative Humidity(%): 65

Sail: Big genoa out full; one reef in the main; broad reach on port

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 90

Miles since departure: 5325

Avg. Miles/Day: 127

Apropos of yesterday’s mileage complaint, we were becalmed overnight. Second such in three nights. Mo made fine way in the evening, four knots of speed reaching on six knots of breeze, but even she gave up when that minimum went to two and three knots. Not enough to blow out a candle. I lowered sail just before midnight, and we drifted until dawn.

Then came this fine wind from the north, the result of a small low passing to the south of us. By noon it was a blessedly blustery twenty, and it has stayed that way. The forecast calls for it to back to northwest after dark and accelerate even more. I have the poles ready to go; I’ll run the rest of the low out on the twins.

After that we may see another set of calms, but soon now we will be entering the Roaring Forties, whose main westerly flow picks up between 43 and 45S. And man, what a train of wind it will be this next week. Look ahead on the Figure 8 tracker to Friday/Saturday and see that the nearly consistent westerlies to 30 knots cover an area of ocean larger than the continental US. Imagine the seas…practically infinite fetch and strong wind over an area of roughly 2,000 square miles.

Stunning are the fundamental differences between the northern and southern hemispheres. With so much land subtracted from the picture down here, wind and wave are king.

But we’re not there yet; not just yet.

A mid afternoon glance at the chart plotter revealed an interesting coincidence. On day 42, Mo and I passed within 30 miles of our day 41 noon position (blue X on the screen), just south and west of us. On that day, the old log says Mo churned out 163 miles. Compare yesterday’s 125 miles … not to mention today’s 90.

But as we’re about to get into the wind, it will be interesting to see who is first to the Horn.

2 Comments on “On the Edge of the Roaring Forties

  1. We are folliwing you carefully, Ramdall. Looks like your Thanksgiving present is to be wind, and lots of it .Thanks for the new Tracker features… Very Cool! Wishing you safety and success with this Thanksgiving “turkey.”

    • I truly enjoy following along with you from here in Port Aransas Texas, Thank you for sharing. “Happy Thanksgiving”, looking forward to reading more about your voyage. MAY YOU BE BLESSED WITH FAIR SEAS/WEATHER! ✌ Trey Olsen

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