Thursday, May 3, 2012


Noon Position: 45 09' S, 153 35' E, SOG 5.5, COG 105, Day's Run 90nm,
Week's Run 755nm. I took advantage of the calm yesterday afternoon to
start training for the pier to pier swim this summer, and, incidentally,
to scrape off a few of the gooseneck barnacles that I discovered living
in a thick barnacle-y colony on Odyssey's stern. The bottom's not quite
as bad as it was on arriving it Valparaiso, with nearly a month of calms
behind us, but close. It's going to take another good calm to really
get the bottom clean, but I'd rather be sailing with a dirty bottom than
becalmed with a clean one. It felt really nice to get in the water -
this is the first time I've swum since being in Chile, and the
depthsounders claim of 53 degrees notwithstanding, the water was fairly
warm - probably 60. I came out of the water feeling refreshed, not
shivering and numb like in Chile, which is bathed with icy water from
the south by the Humboldt current. Just before sunset a grey line
appeared across the entire western horizon and swiftly grew closer,
looking almost like an upside down cold front. Just to be on the safe
side I reefed the main, not a fun task in no wind with enough swell to
slam the boom around as soon as the sheet is eased, finishing just in
time to be engulfed in a dense fog bank. What was pushing this fog at 5
or 6 knots I have no idea, since, if anything, the nonexistent wind
actually decreased upon its arrival. After a few hours I got my first
180 degree wind shift of the night, with a very light southerly filling
in, building enough to make me reef, then promptly dying again, only to
be succeeded by another 180 degree windshift back to the north, then NE,
which has finally stuck - luckily with enough N in it so we're almost
pointing at New Zealand.

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