Day 1, Falkland Islands to St Helena

1030Z 16MAR22, Day 1, Falkland Islands to St Helena. After a whirlwind 3 weeks in Stanley, we got underway from the public jetty at 0730 local on Tuesday, 15 March. It was a bit of a drizzly, dreary gray day to start. Later the skies cleared with the sun out. We had a lovely sunset and a brilliant moon that rose right around sunset and kept us company through most of the night watches.

Current Position: 50 27S / 054 18W
24 hour progress: 157nm, 6.5kts avg SOG, approximately 3110nm to go on the great circle route to St Helena. 2 hours on the engine before securing to sail.
Note: We don't expect to be able to sail the great circle route, but will use it as a benchmark for our progress. Generally the plan is to get a bit north first to be off of the shelf around the Falklands, sail the great circle towards Tristán da Cunha and then turn north to St Helena. That is the "normal" route for typical seasonal winds so you balance that route with actual weather forecasts and comfort.

Yesterday we were up early and ready to go. We accomplished quite a lot and spent lots of money in Stanley. It was a great stop and we made many new friends. However, it was also feeling like time to get moving north. We had to wait for some weather to pass and then there was a group of us all checking out to get going in various directions.

There were 3 boats on the Public jetty and a cruise ship had come in over night that wanted us off of the jetty for their use. We started maneuvers with one boat heading off to a different pier and us and Vinson of Antarctica departing. We have been moored alongside of them for most of the past 2 weeks. They are headed back to Puerto Williams, Chile to do some sail training. We said our "see you laters", sent our well wishes back to Puerto Williams and were all on our way.

We motored through the narrows and out of Port William (the outer harbor). We raised the main before crossing the reporting line to the 3rd reef in hopes that the wind would be behind us. As we got into open sea the waves picked up, the winds filled in, we set sail and secured the engine. We found ourselves on a close reach with about 15kts of wind so we raised more main.

Our Falkland friends on SV Kelper, who we are loosely sailing with as we are both going to Saint Helena, left from their local mooring a bit earlier than us. As we left land behind, we found ourselves about 3nm or so behind Kelper. We checked in via radio as we all set about finding our sea legs and getting comfortable.

The seas have been a bit large and sometimes lumpy, but all in all they have been ok and about as expected. Winds have largely been 20-30kts with the occasional higher gusts. We've been sailing a close reach to a broad reach back to a beam reach. Currently on a beam reach with the wind just aft of the beam with 3 reefs in the main and 1 in the genoa.

We are trying to settle into the passage. We have to get our heads around this being a marathon of a passage rather than a sprint like the Drake is. We started off pushing a bit and then settled into a bit more reefed down posture sailing more for comfort. We shall see how we get on with this changing mindset.

The boys and Poseidon have all been sick. The parents have been fine. Athena is out and about, even hanging out in laps for the night watches. It's been a long time since she has done that. It will take us a couple of days but we should all settle in soon enough. And the sailing should get easier as we get north of the 50s and then the 40s.

Lots of birds flying about to keep us company, and there were some dolphins to see us off from land. We left with lots of frozen meat so no fishing line out yet. We will wait for the sea conditions to be calmer and for some food to be eaten from the refrigerator before we throw the line in. No one wants to clean a fish right now; however, we are all looking forward to a freshly caught fish in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. I am in awe that you have almost 3200NM left on this voyage! Pic of Athena and Poseidon needed in an update soon. You're all troopers! Wishes for warmer winds for great sailing and fresh fish.