Options Ahead

October 13, 2018

Day 9

Noon Position: 19 20N 132 38W

Course/Speed: S 5

Wind: NNE 7 – 10 (NE 10 – 14 by mid afternoon)

Sea: NE 4, SE 4 (Both are rolling in from somewhere else)

Sky: Mostly clear. Some puffy cumulus.

Bar: 1018, rising.

Cabin Degrees Fahrenheit: 84

Water Degrees Fahrenheit: 79

Percent Relative Humidity: 59

Sail: Asymmetrical spinnaker and main. Port broad reach.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 101

Avg. Miles/Day: 143

Miles since departure: 1291

That billowing white cloud in front of us, aka the spinnaker, has been flying since noon yesterday and still is. All night it led the way, even when winds dropped to a whisper and the sea became glassy. Our 101 miles noon-to-noon are nothing to write home about, but that we did so well with so little is pleasing.

Today the mood is changing. Winds are up from the NE and have remained forthright and steady for several hours. Another indicator: the thin cumulus clouds are beginning to tower and lean, a sign of wind aloft. A different weather pattern is setting in, and with luck, this may be the wind that carries us all the way to the doldrums.

So now what is the strategy? We’re entering what I’d consider the hurricane danger zone. Though I was worried about Sergio, in our, then, latitude, winds were strong and cool from the north, and the water was also cool. It would have been an uphill battle for Sergio to reach us.

But temperatures are steadily rising. Today’s high of 84 was nearly ten degrees higher than three days ago. And in the interim, water temparatures have jumped to just shy of 80 degrees. It’s only going to get hotter as we make southing, and hurricanes love it hot.

Though the forecasts don’t show anything in the cooker for a week, I think it would be wise not to dawdle between here and about 10N, where we’ll pick up the SE trades. That 9 degrees of latitude can be got through in five days or less if we keep moving straight down.

That’s option one: keep heading due south.

Option two is to use this NE wind to grab a little easting. Sergio pushed us west a bit and the first few hundred miles of the SE trades will do likewise. Why not use these NE winds to get some of that back. Drop the big sail and take these brisk breezes on a reach to the SE. After all, we’re not attempting a westabout of Cape Horn.

If winds ease tonight as they have recently, I may ride the big white cloud one more cycle and decide in the morning.

Ate the first apple today. A nice treat in the heat of the day!

2 Comments on “Options Ahead

  1. Randall, I’m just catching up after a few months of being away and you may write about this over the next few weeks, but I’m surprised at the low humidity readings you’ve recording. I never put too much thought into it but I had always assumed that the number would be much closer to 90% or greater.

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