Noon Position: 42 27' S, 161 08' W, SOG 4.5, COG 110, Day's Run 140nm.
The last 3 or 4 days have been beautiful sailing during the day and
frustrating squally nights, with not much continuous sleep to be had. I
just finished reading Anna Karenina, and my dreams have been haunted by
unpronounceable Russian nobility, filling roles completely unrelated to
Russians or nobility. Going back to sleep after adjusting the sails I
stayed awake a few extra minutes, trying to figure out how to pronounce
the names of the gas station attendant, yacht captain, or cab driver
whose unpronounceability had featured prominently just before I awoke.
I'm pretty sure my mother even appeared with a Russian name. Just
writing about it now has me silently trying to sound out some of the
worst as I type. Last night, instead of a host of Russians inhabiting
my dreams, I had a host of weather inhabiting my waking hours. One of
the weaknesses of the GRIB weather files I've been using is a tendency
to strongly underestimate the winds associated with a frontal passage.
When I looked at noon yesterday, I was reassured by seeing max
windspeeds of 25 kts or so through the night. So I was frustrated as
the breeze built to a solid 30 from the NNW by nightfall, growing
increasingly squally with lots of lightning flashes lighting up the
clouds all around, oddly enough unaccompanied by thunder. Finally
around 0130 this morning I had to strike the main in a nasty squall,
which proceeded to blow 40+ knots for the next four hours as Odyssey
rocketed down waves rigging thrumming and screaming, seldom seeing
speeds under 7 kts as we surfed fast under just the staysail. This
morning the breeze finally eased back down to the mid 30s and has slowly
been backing off throughout the day, but is still certainly blowing
harder than the smooth and lovely 20kts W wind forecasted for 6am this
morning. Looking at the weather forecasts is a bit of a weakness of
mine - most of the time even knowing what's coming there's not a whole
lot I can do about it, especially at the moment as I'm trying to get
back north, but I still religiously pull down GRIBS daily and stare at
the contents, as if somehow through sheer willpower I can affect what
we're going to get.