Noon Position: 45 52' S, 174 47' W, SOG 6, COG 065!, Day's Run 90nm.
In Storm Passage, Webb Chiles wrote "The best sailing days in the
Forties are the equal of the best days anywhere, and the worst the
worst. Unfortunately the latter are far more common than the former."
Today is finally one of the best days, after a depressingly long string
of miserable weather. Yesterday the Northerly gale dissipated in the
afternoon before getting up any really nasty seas, but dissipated into a
rainy calm, which, while welcome for a chance to refill my water tanks,
was not particularly welcome as the remnant waves seemed to rush about
in all directions. We even managed to slam the bow off a couple of
waves doing less than 2 knots - lots of fun. Then, of course, an even
more exciting night, squally and with very variable wind, varying 30 or
40 degrees in direction and from everywhere from dead calm to 20kts, so
I was up every hour or so reefing, shaking reefs, changing course, all
in a constant drizzle, before retiring to my damp sleeping bag in the
sopping cabin, since I am apparently constitutionally incapable of
collecting rainwater without pouring exactly 50% of the water all over
the floor. Today the squalls died out, the sun came out, and the wind
settled down to a 20kt westerly, drying everything out and giving me my
first day of downwind sailing in non gale-force winds since probably
Tasmania. It certainly is the equal of the best sailing anywhere - nice
temperature, clear skies with just a few clouds, and fast wind from the
quarter with just enough swell to gently surf every now and then. A
much appreciated break from the weather gods.