We Jogged into windward all afternoon yesterday until eight thirty in the evening. This allowed the worst of the weather to pass south of us and gave us a break to catch up on some sleep and have a decent dinner. Truce pinches to windward under triple reefed main and staysail at between two and four knots with the wind vane handling steering duties, its quite comfortable (relatively).
Jogging today reminded me of what we called ‘dodging’ in the North Sea. When the weather was too bad to work the rigs or installations we used to run the supply boat up to windward for a few miles before turning and running downwind. A process repeated until the weather improved. The strategy was to steam up wind as slow as possible to give an easy motion. As running back downwind was always much more comfortable the trick was to time your coming off watch with getting close to the end of the upwind line – you then had time to get to your cabin and tucked up in bed for the restful downwind leg.
The whole day today was overcast with some incredibly heavy rain showers. We used the rain run off to top up the fresh water tanks. Due to missing sun, we had to resort to running the engine for battery charging, the solar panels being ineffective. On board, we have two fifty-watt solar panels, this is sufficient to run the always on loads of GPS and VHF radio. Other on-board equipment such as phones, laptops, cameras etc are charged daily through a USB charging station directly from the house battery. The only item on board requiring the AC power inverter is the Bose Mini Soundlink.
Our fishing lure was not producing much action so we changed it for a squid looking thing. Almost immediately Jessica caught a dorado – seems they like squid. A nice size fish, we will have Thai fish curry this evening. Of course, catching a fish from a sailing boat is not ideal, the boat must be slowed down to drag the fish in. I dropped the staysail, furled the jib and headed into the wind – Jessica was on line hauling duties and had a workout at the same time. The fish was landed quickly and we got back up to speed quite quickly.
The latest weather download shows the doldrums getting more extensive by the day. I hope in this case the weather prediction is wrong again. Voyage distance 560 miles.