Variable Trades, More of Same

Day 30
Noon Position: 17 54.92S 127 11 22W

Course/Speed: SSW 5

Wind: E 15

Sail: Working jib, full

Bar: 1020

Sea: E 10

Sky: Squalls

Cabin Temp: 85 

Water Temp: 80 
Miles last 24-hours: 139 

Miles since departure: 3891

Difficult few days. Giant squalls, one after the other, still the norm, making wind variability the norm too. 9 – 25 the usual two, three hour swing. 

But now I have a plan. 
Three reefs in main (too many, but that way I don’t have to futz with it every few hours). For the working jib, I’ve run the port sheet to starboard and passed it through the block usually used by the big genoa. One sheet is blocked well forward on the track where its angle is best suited for deep reefs, and one sheet is blocked well aft for when winds allow full or a nearly full sail. The forward sheet/block also runs inside the capshrouds, allowing the sail to be hauled in nice a flat (not good for it, but can’t be helped). A piece of spare line runs from one sheet via a Prussic knot to the rail so that I can slack off and switch between sheets without having to roll up the sail. The switch is simple and fast. 

Except night screws with this excellent tactic. Again last night winds went immediately to 25 for several hours and then started increasing. Very little lightning and only in the evening (thank you!). Moon hidden by cloud. Thus I can only assume wind due to a large squall making a slow approach. When winds became sustained at 35 around midnight, I doused the main. Ran on a deeply reefed working jib rest of night so I could sleep. 

We were becalmed at sunrise for two hours. By 10am it was blowing 30. 

Aggravating beyond all description. Even Monte is silenced. 

None of this wind would be the least bit difficult if I could carry it aft of the beam. But we are on a perpetual reach and always seeking a little easting in this ever-changing east wind. 
Too busy to cook. Clif Bars and Soylent for breakfast and Chef Boyardee Raviolis out of the can for lunch. First time using Soylent on this trip. I’d forgotten how easy and filling it is. 399 Soylent meals left. 
Ate the last, somewhat leathery apple today. All that remains of fresh food aboard are two cabbages that have gone AWOL, onions and a few bags of oranges. Eggs in the forepeak are starting to smell. 

7 Comments on “Variable Trades, More of Same

  1. I haven’t been worried so far. But then you said, “But now I have a plan.“

    Now I’m worried.

  2. I’m curious, if you had to sum up your first 30 days in a comment, what that would be?

  3. The South Pacific seems somehow less remote because you’re sailing there 🙂

  4. Looks like you’re headed right at Henderson and on to more challenging winds soon in the south. Love following along online. If it wasn’t tough, it wouldn’t be worth doing!

  5. Soylent time! Yay Soylent. Awesome quick nutrition food. I like it even more with some instant coffee in it. Enjoy the trades, dude.

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