Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 27th, 2014 Off Freeport, Bahamas

December 27, 2014 22:04 UTC
Bahamas, about 34 miles south of the Grand Bahama Island airport
N 26 03981 W 078 04.088 Course 297 Speed 0.0 (naught, nil, none, zilch, zero, etc.)

Since I wrote this morning it has been a long and frustrating day. For me (not for XO who continues his sleep, eat, demand attention, get petted, eliminate routine unchanged.) The synoptic forecast for today is winds from the East at 10 to 15 knots. Perfect for a fast trip to the United States. The actual local weather has been winds from the East at 1 to 3 knots. The boat speed peaked at 2.9 knots for one brief shining moment (that was known as Camelot.) Most of the day it has been between 0.5 and 1.0 knots. I am reminded of two movies: Master and Commander (the scene where they are totally becalmed on a glass ocean) and Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Why, you ask? Because of the scene with the quote “I will taunt you unmercifully.” I can occasionally see wind on the water around Reboot  but by the time it reaches me, or I reach it, it has gone away.

I have tried a little bit of everything including heading slightly upwind (what little there is) to see if I can get the boat speed (what little there is) to generate additional apparent wind. It works for short periods of time but only gives me a 0.25 knot boost before it dies. Since upwind is also off course it doesn’t seem to be a good strategy.

The one thing I have not done is put up all the sails. I have two reasons. First, putting up the main downwind only blankets the jib - only one of the two sails really contributes. Since I have a pretty big masthead jib the additional sail area of the main isn’t going to make much of a difference. Second is the synoptic forecast. If I do get everything up and the winds fills in quickly to the forecast I am going to be greatly over sailed. My attitude is little potential gain for some potential of a big mess. I have left things as they are.

The wind is so light that when I try to tack I have to carry the jib sheets from one side to the other. The sheets are heavy enough that the sail can not pull them to the other side.

We are now approaching katabatic time. The katabatic winds are better know as sea breezes and shore breezes caused by the differential heading and cooling rate of the land and sea. At sunrise and sunset the winds always shift. Normally you get a period of calm before the day or night winds settle in. I am crossing my fingers that tonight the winds will be much stronger than today.

Fair winds and following seas J

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