Day 9, Falkland Islands to St Helena

1030Z 24MAR22, Day 9, Falkland Islands to St Helena. Yesterday was a very sunny day. The pilot house turned into a bit of a sauna. The rest of the boat has remained a bit chilled. The water temperature has decreased which means we are back in warm layers for the night. We enjoyed another good sunset and amazing sunrise. The moon is waning and the skies were less clear last night but we still had some moonlight to keep the night from being too dark.

Current Position: 44 17S / 034 20W
24 hour progress: 120nm, 5kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 1,192nm, approximately 2,228nm to go on the great circle route to St Helena.

Yesterday we continued sailing as close hauled as we go. It was another slow day. The first half was with 3 reefs in the main and a full stay sail. After dinner the winds and seas had settled enough that the stay sail was rolled back in and the full genoa came out. Overnight the winds and seas calmed further allowing us to shake out 2 of the reefs in the main, leaving just 1 reef. The last few hours of the day saw us making better speed and sailing fairly comfortably as the seas have an easy swell. Our course remains easterly with a touch of south. The wind has largely remained from the NE so we continued to sail as close as we can.

Our pilot house has two large, wrap around windows that make for excellent visibility, but also make the space a bit of a greenhouse / sunroom when the skies are clear. If the boat is humid, it can be like a sauna. This sun heated space can be welcome or just too much depending on other factors. Ideally, we would crack the overhead hatch or leave the watertight entry door open to vent the space when it gets too warm. However, it's still not exactly warm outside meaning the door only gets left open long enough to purge some air or some midday hours. Opening the overhead hatch while sailing close hauled risks taking a bucket of water into your lap and the desk if a wave breaks up and over the deck. It doesn't happen all the time, but it happens.

Megan caught just such a precisely targeted, hatch invading wave while cooking yesterday. She had the galley hatch cracked open to vent the steam from the pasta she was boiling when a large wave crashed over the deck. The initial wave didn't throw too much in, but knowing what was coming she reflexively reached up to close the hatch. There was no chance of being fast enough, and the cold sea water then flowing off the deck poured down her neck and puddled around her. It was one of those moments and is the known risk of venting that hatch. Megan took it in stride, we mopped up the water and dinner was served soon there after. Boat life.

Not too much else to report. We continue to move along. The weather looks pretty good for the next few days. Mostly light air. So we will see if we can continue sailing or if we need to turn on the engine at some point. Or if we find more air than forecasted.

In our bird update, we were down to only the occasional fly by yesterday. And no other wildlife has been spotted by us. Our friends on Kelper saw seals yesterday though! We are about 180nm apart, and had no such sightings. Impressive to know that they are so far from land. Makes you wonder what sea life is all around under the sea when it seems so empty above the sea…

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