The Bone of Satisfaction
November 25, 2018
Noon Position: 54 56S 86 34W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 7+
Wind(t/tws): WNW 25 – 30
Sea(t/ft): W 10
Sky: Total, slate gray cloud cover
10ths Cloud Cover: 10
Cabin Temp(f): 52
Water Temp(f): 40
Relative Humidity(%): 79
Sail: Twin headsails, poled out; reefed by two thirds.
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 160
Miles since departure: 6829
Avg. Miles/Day: 131
Wind finally eased overnight, and by morning was 25 – 30 from the WNW. Our four-day blow had ended. Seas too had eased. The grand, high swell had moved on, leaving a field of great, collapsing, frothing lumps of water. Mo heaved.
By now we have almost all the southing we need for the Horn, and so, after coffee, I turned Mo’s head to the east, a dead run, and flew the twin headsails as deeply reefed as the poles would allow. In this way, we have made a steady 7 knots all day.
Relieved of deck duty, I gave head and face a bath in hot water. I shook out the rugs and cleaned the floors, which had become slick with salt slime from four days of wet foulies and boots being trekked around the cabin. I made a hot lunch, an unusual luxury, to re-ignite that internal glow, given the absence of the sun (the mean temperature in the cabin is now 50 degrees).
And then I sat and watched the waves and the white headed petrel surfing their crests and gnawed the bone of satisfaction, satisfaction with Mo and how we’ll she’d worked through a long bit of Southern Ocean heavy weather.
Cape Horn: 565 miles. Four days at this rate.