Day 1, Drake Passage Southbound

0715Z 14JAN22, Day 1, Drake Passage.
Current Position: 57 16S / 065 46W
24 hour progress: 129nm, 5.4kts avg SOG, approximately 470nm to landfall. We have been sailing a close or beam reach with 4 reefs in the main and 3 in the genoa, direct to our desired landfall position. The seas have been large but are starting to settle out in the deeper water. Wind has probably been mostly 25-30kts, but without the anemometer we don't exactly know.

We departed from our spot at anchor in the northern bay of Lennox just after 4am local time. We motored south and circumnavigated Isla Terhalten in lovely, sunny weather. There were penguins and seals to watch through binoculars. After that we set sail towards Cape Horn and secured the engine. We even saw another sailboat out sailing - presumably headed to Antarctica. Some dolphins also came to say hello for a short while.

Before we started the passage, we spent almost a week in Lennox. We finished up the last tasks, like deflating and stowing the dinghy, and topped up fuel from an extra jug. This year we have a 400L fuel bladder secured to our foredeck. Besides the voyage to Antarctica, we plan to make some big miles this year so we bought it in hopes that we would worry less about fuel this year than we did last year. We also have a 200L drum strapped into our cockpit. So we have doubled our internal fuel capacity and taken more fuel than we did last year.

We found ourselves waiting and waiting for weather in Lennox. The opportunities that seemed like they might be ok, closed up and looked too windy by the time they arrived. But eventually it lined up so that we could depart Thursday morning. Additionally it appeared the winds would be light enough that we could go directly past Cape Horn. We skipped it last year on our way out and stayed offshore. And on our return it was far too stormy to even think about. So, as this was our goodbye to Chile and our 3rd time passing Cape Horn, we were happy weather was going to allow us a trip close by this sailing pinnacle.

All in all, it was a wonderful day for the first 10 hours. Beautiful weather, great sailing in easy seas and some gusty winds. Then as we passed Cape Horn, the clouds rolled in, the winds picked up and the ocean swell hit us. The next 14 hours have been adjusting to the Drake and making Zephyros comfortable.

We are all doing fine and adjusting back to passage making. Lots of sleeping and a good amount of queasiness. Daxton came up to see Cape Horn and promptly threw up all over the stairs into the boat. Pretty sure this is a repeat of last year. Megan cleaned it all up and has vowed to make him have a bucket with him until he has his sea legs.

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