December 25, 2018
Noon Position: 43 24S 07 34E
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 6
Wind(t/tws): SWxW 14 – 17
Sea(t/ft): W 6
Sky: Light Cumulus alternating to clear
10ths Cloud Cover: 10
Bar(mb): 1006, steady
Cabin Temp(f): 61
Water Temp(f): 48
Relative Humidity(%): 65 (51 by end of day. Can feel the dryness in my hands.)
Sail: Twins poled out full. Dead run.
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 164
Miles since departure: 11,125
Avg. Miles/Day: 136
Ran all night with two reefs in the poled-out twin headsails. Winds were mostly 17 – 25, but a few times we had squalls to 30 knots with light rain. Monte could just handle 30 knots with that set-up. Winds stayed SWxW until afternoon, pushing us a tad to the north when what I want is southing. But the speed it gave in exchange cancelled any complaint I might have had.
A clear day. After coffee, I put out wet things to dry. Then I baked brownies and opened Christmas cards from family and friends…
Christmas Day last year was memorable without being exactly celebratory.
At 8am Pacific Time on December 25, 2017, I made landfall W of Chile’s Bahia Cook after five days of hand steering Mo off the Southern Ocean, this just three days shy of Cape Horn. In the previous weeks, both the autopilot and windvane had failed, changing the course of the Figure 8 for that year. It wasn’t until 3am the next day, after motoring an additional fifty miles inside the Beagle Channel and running aground in a gale of snow and sleet, that Mo and I were finally safe, anchor down, Caletta Oja.
I knew it was Christmas, but besides digging for a box of Sees Candy my sister had alerted me to, I had no energy for the many cards and even gifts sent along by family and friends. They remained wrapped, and often water-damaged, in a moldy bag in the forepeak … until today.
Christmas Day 2018, and by coincidence, it is again 8am. The Horn is 3,400 miles astern, the weather is moderate, Mo is racing under poled-out, tightly reefed twin headsails, and I have had the extreme pleasure this last hour of having a proper Christmas. All cards have been opened and read; the gifts unwrapped, and many now decorate the lower part of the mast, where residers my “Christmas Tree.” I even have the required mess of Christmas wrap on the cabin sole.
Thank you to friends and family for thinking of me last year–and this year too! It was heart warming to read the words of encouragement and just plain fun to feel connected.
Merry Christmas to all…