After the big 2 hour sail change effort last evening, I zipped myself into the 20° F / -6.6° C sleeping bag, and had several hour long sleeps through the night. I got up to look around a few times, but only did minor trimming of the sails.
We continue east, toward the northern end of the Kerguelen Shelf. When we get there, likely about dinnertime tonight, we’ll probably bear off and head a little East Southeast, just depending on the latest weather forecasts, to try to be in the least wind, and least headwind, area that we can find in this big depression. Look in our Daily Weather/Indian Ocean page for the Surface Analysis map which will show the storm.
The boat is set up with the solent set, and the staysail furled. The storm jib is in its bag on the foredeck. We have the 2nd reef in the mainsail in, and are ready to go to the 3rd reef, and then to the 4th reef if necessary.
The birds are out in force today!
We also have an iceberg detection by satellite at 46° 36’S x 70° 58’E of an ~30 meter / 90 foot iceberg with an estimated drift to 46° 40’S x 73° 25’E on December 12th. Our plan will be to stay south of this estimated drift path. I don’t know if the iceberg experts will be scanning by satellite for this particular detection again, so we will take their estimated drift (course and speed) and make our own estimate of where the iceberg would be today, or more specifically, where it will be when we get to its area. We don’t know if our radar will see this iceberg if we are within range. There are many uncertainties in a voyage like this, and this iceberg is one of them. If we hit it, at any speed, let alone these high speeds (still surging to 22-23 knots), it would be catastrophic and certainly would destroy the boat. I will be very interested to read what our Climate expert Dr. Jan Witting will write for his Essay this week.
Our friend Eric Bellion has decided to head north to try to get beyond the reach of the worst of the gale. Our other friends here Alan Roura and Enda O’Coineen have a similar idea to mine, and are ahead of us and slightly south.
I had an email exchange with Enda yesterday. He had to go up his mast part way yesterday, two times, to untangle some tangled lines. That is an incredible effort in this cold. Well done, Enda.
46° 35’S x 69° 16’E
True Wind Speed
True Wind Direction
Main sail (2 reefs) plus Solent
46° F / 8° C cockpit
45° F / 7.2° C
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