Its the bleak midwinter here. Well not bleak, sunny but down to only warm now. Didn't wear shorts all day today. I'm now as far south as I've ever been. 21°15' South being a previous record. Temp inside the boat is now 22°c at 22° South Latitude. Though it is the middle of the night.
Mahi Mahi, aka Dolphin Fish, aka Dorado
I pulled my trousers out in Luganville. Boy were they musty. Under a bed in a damp locker in a boat in the tropics for months. Had to wash them. Also had to sew a button on one pair. A result of my weight when I left England, weight gone. May now need belt. If I lose any more I'll be back to stick insect student days again. Just when nice insulating lard would be usefull. We're screaming south, at a degree a day. Coffs is 30 south, a significant distance from the winter sun. Its 12:45 am and my feet our cold. Need to buy socks.
The theory of this passage is to head off as a high pressure sytem detaches from the east coast of oz. winds go anti colckwise round a high in the southern hemisphere. So if you arrive on the auzie coast before it leaves you'll be beating into a southerly, if on the other hand you get it right and clip the top you'll get a bit of south east, then east as you pass the top, and north east and finally north as you approch the New South Wales coast. Acording to our calcs we've got it pretty much right. The wind was nearly southerly yesterday, but we were almost able to hold our course, now as we aproach the top of the high we're on course and begining to ease sheets. All is as it should be. Apart form the slamming. Any yacht sailor will tell you how uncomortable it can be going hard on the wind, and therefore into the waves. Every now and again the bow will ride over a wave into open air and smash down into the trough. The thump as it lands shakes the whole boat. A cruisie light beneteau like this with its wide shallow bottom slams pretty unpleasantly. Poor old Al has the forward, largest, cabin. Which looks like heaven in the brochure. I on the other hand when going to windward the bed plunges up and down, it feels like you being thrown up off the bed.
I have the cabin in the starboard quarter (back right). Since the winds from the port side and ahead, the nose is lifting and slamming down, and the boat is rolling. Since the right hand side is the pivot point for the roll as thats the side in the water and the pitch pivot is towards the back too as the waves are lifting the bow it means I am sleeping best on the boat. I only get the twist not the up and down motion. Lucky me.
Last night we lost the mainsail, just a torn seam, easily repaired. Cluttering up the boat have been all the spare sails. We've got 2 mains and 2 jibs, the shreded remains of a spinnaker and a storm jib and trisail for really bad weather. Trying to re-load in mast roller furling gear with the other main as it got dark motoring into 20 knots and an ocean swell was not fun, reminded me of yacht racing. This main is a tape drive kevlar re-inforced job, nice. Or it would be if the back edge didn't flap cos its battens are missing. Al claims they don't exist I bet somewhere in some forgoton corner they do.