Day 1, Drake Passage

0900Z 08JAN21, Day 1, Drake Passage. We departed from our spot at anchor in front of Alcamar Lennox at 6am local time on Thursday, the 7th of January.

Before we started the passage, we left Puerto Williams on Tuesday evening. We had a few more clean up / passage stowing type chores to finish, but just felt like it was time to unplug and get into passage mode. It was an easy motor on a beautiful, calm evening to Caleta Eugenia. We were able to have a nice dinner, do some planning and get to bed. In the morning we deflated and stowed the dinghy and kayak, cleaned up our decks (we prefer clean decks for passage making) and stowed things inside as well. We do have a 200L fuel bladder secured to our foredeck this trip. We hope not to need our extra fuel, but it is some insurance allowing us to motor rather than wait around for wind in the Drake.

Wednesday we moved to Isla Lennox, about half sailing and half motoring, and had a last night at anchor. We really debated whether we should stop or just keep going. It looked like quite a bit of motoring if we started Wednesday night but if we waited we might have to motor the last part of the way to Deception Island in Antarctica, if we didn't make good speed. It's always a trade off and a bit of a guess. Weather forecasts are amazing and help us immensely, but they aren't perfect and different areas tend to have their own anomalies.

In the end, we decided on the night's rest and set off early Thursday morning. We raised our sail, but found ourselves motor sailing. The wind that was supposed to fill in, did not seem to be there, yet. So we motor sailed, often more slowly than we would hope, but we were happy to start our time in the infamous Drake with sun, some rolly short waves in the shallower areas around Cape Horn and not a lot of wind.

In the early evening, right after Jon laid down for a nap, the winds decided to fill in! The Drake definitely decided to go from calm to gale in about 45 minutes. We went from having all the sail up and out to fully reefed. Eventually we got settled in and trimmed up and the sleep schedule resumed. We sail conservatively, especially over night, so our speeds were sometimes slower than hoped as we were hesitant to let out too much more sail too quickly. But as day arrived, the rain left, the sun came back out, the winds settled to 20kts and the seas settled out, we shook out reefs and set up for passage day 2.

Current Position: 57 04S / 065 44W
24 hour progress: 115, 4.8kts avg SOG, approximately 365nm to Boyd Strait. We have been sailing a broad reach, direct to the strait. The seas have been large and aft of the beam. It's been awhile since we've been in ocean swell.

We are all doing fine and adjusting back to passage making. Everyone is a bit groggy and sometimes green. Megan continues to have the iron stomach, but it affects us all to various degrees. This passage isn't especially long so in all likelihood we will be arriving just as we all find our sea legs.

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