It is now 5:30am and the sun is rising. It looks like it will be a very
nice day with plenty of sunshine. Last night the sky was clear and the
sailing was fairly easy except that for the first half of the night (from
6pm to midnight) was mostly light and from the ENE. This made for some
very uncomfortable and nerve wracking slamming as the jib would
alternately flog and then fill with a bang shaking the mast and rigging.
The seas have not calmed down much and this makes us roll a lot. With a
light breeze this is murder. For the most part we have had 15-20k which
would be great if we weren't heading downwind. Below about 18k the jib
won't stay filled and the above described slamming ensues. For the second
part of the night we had closer to 20-23k and the boat sailed nicely at
6.5-7k. The wind also seems to come a bit forward as it increases to ESE
and this of course helps a great deal to keep things right. It is now in
the 15-20k range and when it is close to 20k, as it is right now, we are
moving nicely at about 6k.
We have 105 miles to go before we can make our big turn to the SW. After
this everything will change as the wind will be on the beam. This will
allow us to sail much faster with the same wind, and have a better angle
to the swells. Unfortunately, forecasts predict that by then (about 8pm
tonight) the wind will have dropped further. We need about 15k on a beam
reach to move at a decent clip, so there is some chance we will get it.
For the 2 days following forecasts are calling for 10k only and from the
NE, but they have been low so often I am optimistic this will prove the
case again. Wind from the NE would be bad as that would put us back on a
downwind leg again.
In the afternoon the wind had come around more to the East so we poled out
the genoa and are going wing-and-wing in about 12-18k almost dead
downwind. We have about 50 miles to our waypoint then we turn SW for the
long, final leg to Brisbane. The sky is blue with puffy white clouds and
the seas are finally calming down. Should be a pleasant evening. Once we
turn SW, we will have to bring the genoa around to the Stbd side and
hopefully we'll have a nice broad reach for the first day or two. About
585nm to go after that point.