A record day sail for this leg
09 October 2021 | 24 16.537'S:163 21.449'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
24 16.537 S
163 21.449 E
Weather; sunny, wind 7 -18 knots, waves 1.5 meters
We were quite surprised to realise that we had managed to cover 163 NM in the last 24 hours with just 1 hour of engine time Ð it is almost a record run!
Most of the daytime was spent sailing along quite smoothly with all three sails deployed and us goose winging, not because the wind was coming from aft as per the usual goose wing set up, but because we were too lazy to take down the spinnaker pole and fly the Yankee on the same side as the main, knowing that it would probably need to go back out again as soon as we took it down and neither of us were up for that much effort. The swell had dropped away making it a pleasant, fairly level platform to be travelling on for a change, no bumping into those edges that leap out at you as you try to go past them, so no additional bruises today. At one point the wind began to increase in intensity and we were howling along at 9 knots, this was too much out of control for Gerry, plus we were putting extra strain on our sails and operating gear so we reefed the main in and quickly followed by reefing in the Yankee which brought our speed back to around 7 knots. We were expecting a chang
e of wind direction late in the afternoon as per the forecast but it never eventuated, the wind did drop back a bit though and we then let the reefing back out on both the main and the Yankee. The sun set, yet again, behind the line of cloud that seems to gather on the horizon each night, I'm pretty sure it is just to thwart our quest Ð I'm never going to see that mythical green flash! The temperature seemed to plummet as soon as the sun left the sky and once again we both found ourselves suffering from cold extremities. Trying to sleep was made more difficult as we had to first try and get warm and neither of us managed a great deal of sleep. At one point I was trying to sleep down below and Gerry had dozed off in the chair in the cockpit when he was woken by an alarm Ð the AIS was going off , much to his surprise. A somewhat befuddled look around and he spotted a large ship about half a mile off of our stern, not posing any real threat to us as it was going across the ste
rn but we at least know that our AIS was working, we hadn't been certain until this point as we hadn't encountered any other traffic in a few days. Despite the cold, clear sky and starry night the sea swell increased slightly and became a little violent at times. it always seems so much worse when you can't see it coming towards you and you are taken by surprise, having said that we have certainly had worse swell this trip so we aren't complaining about it. Dawn seemed a little later this morning, or maybe it was because we were still trying to grab some sleep, but the sun took its time putting in an appearance and warming up the interior of the cockpit. Currently it is beautifully sunny without a cloud in the sky, the swell has settled down to about 1 meter and we are bowling along at 6.5 knots under sail alone, the apparent wind is 12 knots and just aft of the beam. We had a small breakage this morning when the shackle that holds the preventer down to the deck rail snapp
ed in two, it was a good job that we were only going along smoothly and not bouncing around at the time and that we had a replacement shackle which was quickly swapped out, the broken one was consigned to Davey Jones Locker. We have been looking at the weather forecast for the next couple of days around the area we will be travelling through to go directly into Brisbane and there looks to be a bit of high windage on Tuesday / Wednesday which has us thinking that we might head towards Bundaberg and then travel down the coast to Brisbane, we will be looking at the weather again tomorrow before making the final decision. It will add a few miles to our trip but at least we would be avoiding a potentially frantic day or two. That's my lot for today, its time to try and grab an hour of sleep before lunchtime.