Day 9 towards Cape Horn... Wind up and down...

Tuesday 30th October 2012

10am Sun trying to peek through breaks in cloud - nice to feel some sunshine after the dripping foggy conditions of last few days. Fog disappeared with good wind overnight and into this morning - we're making excellent speed, having tacked around after midnight.. Presently making 7.5-8 kt SOG towards San Francisco, with boatspeed of 7kt!  

Winds are forecast to stay around SSW 15-20 kt but then die to almost nothing on Thursday - so I'm trying hard to make SF during the daytime on Wednesday - hoping we can catch the flood through the Golden Gate.  

Early afternoon: So much for that hope - the wind has slowly eased - so we're lucky to be making 5 kt... ...And we were all set to make the flood nicely on Wed afternoon through the Bay entrance ... but no longer. That poses a big problem - what to do to avoid ebb in Entrance - heave to for a few hours maybe?  

Still spending a lot of time trying to sort out new liferaft and cradle - and fittings for mounting it on pushpit. - not standard!!  

5pm Dolphins! With boat speed right down, went up on deck to shake out 1st reef.. and there they were - playing about the bow and leaping in twos and threes alongside - lovely to see as dusk drew in!  

Midnight .. Have decided against heaving to ovenight here - occasional traffic around... Instead have decided to reduce sail and go slowly. If speed is kept down to 4-4.5 kt, we'll make the Bay entrance before midnight Wed evening, after the ebb has died down. Means I'll probably have to anchor overnight since picking up a buoy in the dark could prove impossible, but there's good anchoring nearby so that shouldn't pose a problem, especialy since wind is set to die away almost completely over Thursday so I shouln't risk dragging if anchor not set properly...  

Must get some sleep!