Day 17, Falkland Islands to St Helena

1030Z 01APR22, Day 17, Falkland Islands to St Helena. Yesterday was a beautiful, warm day. We made slow progress, hung out outside and even decided that we could deal with a fish…

Current Position: 36 31S / 020 58W
24 hour progress: 100nm, 4.2kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 2,154nm, approximately 1,472nm left to go via a great circle route to St Helena.

We spent the whole day sailing close hauled. As much as we drone on about this, it should be said that if you have to sail close hauled doing so in flat seas on a sunny day with 10-15kts of wind is the way to go!

We started the day in slightly more wind with 2 reefs in the main. By midday the winds dropped back down to about 10kts and we shook out both reefs. We then spent the rest of the day slowly sailing in light winds. It wasn't a fast day, but we enjoyed outside time and the slow pace making for a comfortable day.

Unfortunately, our course wasn't as good as we would have liked; however, as it was mostly a bit north of east, it was ok. We ended up waiting all day and half of the night for the wind direction to change and our course to improve accordingly. It finally did so very gradually, though the winds remained light. It seems like it must have been forever ago since we sailed for a whole day with full sails (and at a lazy 4kts). We went with it and avoided any temptation to turn on the engine.

We were bullied into putting the fishing line in the water (or is that an April Fool's joke?). We decided that part of what made us not want to deal with a fish was cold weather and large seas, and as the weather is now nicer it doesn't seem quite so daunting. Of course, we have limited windows of time when we are open to dealing with a fish. Any fish that wishes to come aboard has been respectively asked to arrive in advance of either lunch or dinner preparation lest the sushi not be at its peak when served. Once dinner preparation was about to be underway we pulled the line in without catching anything on fishing day one.

With little else happening, we decided it was a good afternoon to make another time zone change to our clocks. This time we have shifted to UTC -1:00 hour. Device clocks were thus set to Cape Verde. One more shift to be made before we arrive in St Helena.

It is feeling like ground hog day aboard Zephyros - but that is nothing to complain about if the day is sunny and warm with good sailing. And the cloudless days continue to provide beautiful sunsets, sunrises and starry nights. All we could ask for is a touch more wind…but just a touch.

We are now about 400nm from Tristán da Cunha. Jon really wanted to stop in there. But alas they are very much closed due to being an isolated island with a small population in a pandemic. We did see a couple of boats on AIS and a trio of Chinese fishing boats passed in formation about a mile behind us early this morning. So that was something new. They seemed to be headed for Tristán da Cunha or maybe South Africa. Maybe Tristán da Cunha sells foreign fishing permits like the Falklands?

Birds are down to just a couple of giant petrels. Hoping to see a fish on a line or at least inspiration for a good April Fool's tall tale…

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