Day 25, Falkland Islands to St Helena

1030Z 09APR22, Day 25, Falkland Islands to St Helena. Well, yesterday sure went a bit differently than expected! It was a bit of a busy day and our course is a strange squiggle reflecting our efforts. We had sun for the morning and then we found ourselves negotiating rain clouds when things got interesting. Then it all returned back to normal / as expected.

Current Position: 24 27S / 011 32W
24 hour progress: 116nm, 4.8kts avg SOG, about 1 hour on the engine. Overall progress for the passage is 3,218nm, approximately 605nm left to go via a direct line to St Helena.

Yesterday morning saw us sailing with a bit more wind than expected. We put a reef in the main and were making a NW course (St Helena lies to the NE). Then around midday a second reef went in. Then we saw we would be heading into some large rain clouds and reefed the genoa. In the middle of the rain clouds, the winds shifted and we tacked to get a better course and put the full genoa back out. For a short while, we were even on course directly for St Helena, and we weren't even close hauled! There was absolutely nothing in the forecast suggesting that this would happen. We shook out the 2nd reef as the winds came down. Then the winds died out nearly completely and we put on the engine to negotiate the confused seas and shifting winds. After about an hour on the engine, we were back to sunny skies and everything filled back in as it was. We secured the engine and tried our luck on a port tack heading east.

As we prefer the port tack to cook, we stayed heading east through dinner. At this point the wind was back to coming from where we want to go and neither tack was a good choice. Sailboats cannot sail directly into the wind. After dinner, we decided to tack back to starboard. We trimmed the sails as tight to the wind as possible and shook out the last reef in the main. The winds were light over night and our course was slow and largely NW.

Another problem with less winds is that this really ensures that we can't go to windward. There is quite a large swath of unavailable headings. We found ourselves about 85deg off of the true wind direction which at higher wind speeds would be a reach; however, we were sailing as close hauled to the wind as we could go (50 deg apparent wind).

We would, very much, like the winds to move more to the E and then ESE and to fill in to 15kts or so rather than the 8-10kts that we are getting - as they are forecast to do. For now, we wait. We wait for the winds to move and our course to improve. This will be gradual and take at least half a day, probably longer. Then we wait to get a bit more wind which may not be until tomorrow.

As yesterday was rather busy with all the sail and course changes, we are actually enjoying the slower start to today. We will probably have to turn on the engine at least for a bit to recharge batteries again. We also have some random work to do around the boat that is easier at slower speeds and in calm seas.

If this post seems to be complaining, it definitely isn't all bad, just a little frustrating. We are all anticipating the home stretch but have to wait a bit longer still for it to arrive. The sunsets, sunrises, moon rises, moon sets, rainbows, moon bows, sunny warm days and incredibly starry night skies are all beautiful reminders of the wonders all around us that are there to be enjoyed when we slow down and take a look around.

We had the fishing line in all day again yesterday without a bite. No luck with the pink squid, but trying him again today anyway.

Almost no birds (we saw 1 for a short minute) and still only occasional flying fishes. A little more trash spotted yesterday including some plastic thing that looked a bit like a turtle shell, but clearly was not.

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