Readying for the Next Low

Day 82

Noon Position: 47 21S  3 43E

Course/Speed: SSE4

Wind: NNW10

Sail: Twins poled

Bar: 1008

Sea: NW 4


Cabin Temp: 52

Water Temp: 42

Miles last 24-hours: 142 (I set ship’s clock back one hour yesterday; so this represents a 23-hour day. Still disappointing.)

Longitude Made Good: 123

Miles since departure: 10,887

Busy day, both from the standpoint of sail management and from that of chores in prep for our next series of lows.

Wind did a one-eighty on me again last night. Came on deck at 3am to find our easy and fast reach east under double-reefed main and working jib had described a gentle but rapid curve to the northwest without spilling a drop of wind. Ran out the poles, put us back east and then returned to bed. Mo rolled in the fresh swell and sleep was illusive.

I know these wind shifts are coming, but their actual arrival is never quite what the forecast suggests. In this case, from below the only indication we had changed course was that Mo started to pound as she turned into the north swell.

Winds went soft in the middle of the day but are building again and are increasingly northwest with more north forecast overnight. I gybed the poles after lunch–what a mess of cockpit lines that exercise makes!–and am now waiting to see how long I can carry the two headsails before having to shift back to main and working jib. I’d be pleased if the weather decided that before my sleep cycle began, but am not ever so optimistic.

A cold dry fog all day, so I’ve been happy to have the sail work and chores to keep me warm.

The chores are items I’ve wanted to get banged out before the next lows and include putting a few more wraps on the large genoa furling drum; I also lowered the line’s entry angle so that it won’t chafe on the upper lip of the opening when the sail is reefed (#fail; still chafes).

I havn’t fixed the aft compartment manual bilge pump yet (ugly job to get to it) but did bail a few gallons out with a portalbe electric pump I keep for just such occasions. The pump has about 20 feet of hose attached and a length of electrical wire nearly that of the boat so that I plug the pump into the battery bank and still get it to any compartment that may need drying out in a hurry.

The water is getting into that aft compartment via a pipe elbow near the transom used for the passage of electrical wire, now plugged with silicon. This is one of the many items in the category of “It Just Never Occurred to Me”–forgivable in many boats, but not one headed to the south.

I’m also moving the ship’s clock back an hour each day until we get to Greenwich Mean Time–yesterday, today, and tomorrow–so it’s already 5pm as I type and is starting to get dark.

Found cans of chocolate stout in the bilge a few days ago. Nice way to end a cold day. Click send. Open can. You see my motivation to finish.

3 Comments on “Readying for the Next Low

  1. I got a little seasick watching the video. I may have to cancel my plans to sail a similar voyage.

  2. Question, are you able to run your diesel cabin heater? Or is it too windy or is fuel too precious?

  3. Reading your updates every day is such a pleasure! One thought on the wind shifts: some nmea displays and chart plotters allow you to set a heading alarm and threshold so you can get alerted when the wind shifts. Hoping this next low isn’t too bad and that you get some sunshine afterwards.

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