Noon Position: 42 52' S, 141 28' E, COG 075, SOG 5.5, Day's Run 137nm.
Just riding out the SW phase of a nasty gale - fortunately (or
unfortunately?) it is developing as it moves along, so last night didn't
blow too hard, now this morning blowing force 8 with gusts to force 9 in
the squalls. The seas are truly tremendous - bigger than I've seen yet,
with some worryingly large breakers for an hour this morning as the SW
and NW swells crossed. The Australian storm warnings call for "Rough to
Very Rough" conditions, with significant swell height (max size can be
double that!) in Tasmania of 9 meters. I don't think anything 18m
tall has come through, but definitely plenty in the 9-10m range at
least. Watching the albatrosses is a joy in these winds - they never
flap, just soaring and flashing by with their wing tips raked well aft.
The humorously awkward water take-offs and landings that give me such
joy in milder weather have become unbelievably graceful - to take off
they just extend their wings and give one or two little kicks with their
feet and suddenly they're tearing away across the face of a wave. I'm
going to end it here for today, since keeping Odyssey stern to the waves
is still requiring some attention with the wind shifts from the squalls
rolling through. The breeze is starting to back off a bit now, and
conditions are supposed to moderate in the next 4 or 5 hours.