Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Noon Position: 41 38' S, 96 46' E, SOG 5.5, COG 090, Day's Run 130nm.
Today is the first day I've had in a while with acceptable conditions
for drying things out - Sunnish, minimal rain, and wind far enough aft
to minimize spray. It's nice, everything was starting to get a bit
soggy. Odyssey is back on pace again after a good long chunk of slow
days. Yesterday and (clearly) the day before both had weirdly large
waves for the wind - even yesterday after the breeze was down a bit I
still had 2 or 3 waves come thumping aboard filling the cockpit, not
with any force, but with plenty of water. I think the big wind
direction changes out of that system are largely responsible, creating a
set of swells from the whole range of S to W, all of which were lumping
up together. The knockdown I took on Monday was a lot less frightening
than the first one I took off Chile - largely because I've had a lot
more experience sailing in moderately unpleasant conditions since then,
instead of it being my first real blow of the trip. By the same token,
even though I wasn't particularly consciously shook up by it, I did end
up sailing a lot more conservatively than I normally do afterwards, and
certainly more conservatively than I should have been yesterday when the
seas weren't nasty, just rainy and puffy as a cold front rolled through.
One of the safety goals of these waters is to sail as fast as
possible at all times, since every extra day that I spent down here is
one more day for nasty weather to potentially roll through. Sometimes
it's a tough balancing act, trying to keep everything in control but
still make miles, but every time I have a slow day because I throttled
back too soon I end up beating myself up, thinking that I could have
endured a rough ride for a few more hours. Clearly when breaking waves
start putting the boat on its side I need to sail accordingly, but
everything short of that I find myself in a constant struggle between
comfort and speed. Now at least I'm finally making some miles again -
this isn't going to be a record breaking week, either for most or least
miles, but certainly will be more below my average than I'd like.

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