May 7

Today has been a very relaxing day. We are too far to reach Minerva by nightfall, but too close to arrive in the morning at our normal speed. This happens quite a lot (not only to us) and the traditional approach is to either slow the boat down so you arrive in the daylight or sail as best you can until you are close to your destination (say, about 5-10 miles) and then heave-to (basically to drop sails and sit where you are) till morning. I hate doing the later as the motion is always uncomfortable (ie. rolly). Another option is to tack back and forth near to your destination until daylight. We have tried the last option several times and it works fine as long as conditions do not significantly change during the night. If a wind shift occurs you may find yourself fighting upwind to get to your destination after tacking away from it during the night!

We are using the slow-the-boat-down method which is especially appropriate today since we have very light winds (under 15k). At 3pm we are now about 93 miles from South Minerva and plan to arrive in the early morning. We are making about 4.5k now on a heading of 3 True (almost Due North). Unfortunately we expect the wind to drop even further tonight, and once it gets below 8k or so we have to motor or else let the sails flap back and forth while we roll all over the place. This means motoring overnight at low RPM to keep things moving smoothly. Of course, the down side is the noise. Somehow we always manage to sleep fine even considering the din.

At 7pm we are still sliding along at 5-6k with a 10-12k wind from the SW. We have 73 miles to go to S. Minerva.