Day 5 to Cape Horn – A lovely gentle sail this evening!

Friday 26th October 2012

What a beautiful, gentle sail we're having just now!  

Just before I checked in with the Pacific Seafarers Net at 8.30pm PDT, having let out all reefs and canvas, the wind almost died away and we were drifting NE at 1-2 kt, but then I steered us back on course, close-hauled as most of today, while a SW wind slowly picked up and Fred took over again, holding us on 160T COG, at 4-5kt, in 9-10 kt of wind... If I fell off more,we'd be making even better speed.  

Somewhere up there is a near-full moon, making the lightly overcast sky bright enough to see by for sail-trimming. The rough seas of earlier have become far gentler - not short & steep any more, although still about 1.5m/4-5ft, and we're sailing with minimal heel... 'creaming along', albeit not very fast!  

It was calm enough to cook a good meal - omelette with gently-fried potatoes, onion and some fresh yellow bell pepper - almost a pepperoni omelette - tasty!  

We had a bit of a problem early today which I won't go into as yet, just after tacking around in a WNW wind of 22kt and making contact with the Gt Northern Boaters' Net on 3870 kHz at 8:20am. For the first time, we could make a decent southerly course, but the good wind direction only lasted until dusk, before backing to the SW as it is now. I have to admit that we lost ground this morning because the windshift from SSE to WNW that came with the expected Front occurred before dawn while I was fast asleep.... so we didn't tack around as soon as we should have done and I woke to find us heading NNW!! Always annoying to see hard-won ground lost in that way...  

I'm trying to keep heading W of S if at all possible since the forecast is for SW-SSW wind for the next several days, which will force us consistently SE, in the direction of the coast. Not having an engine available makes me highly cautious of getting too close to land!  

The wind is forecast to pick up overnight, so no doubt I'll have to reef down again at some point soon... I'll soon know when the boat starts heeling...  

DMG: (down due to that lost ground having to be made good...! I should have set an alarm to wake me up ...) from Strait of Juan de Fuca enrance.