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).

Catch of the Day by Jessica. Photo Ray Penson
Catch of the Day by Jessica. Photo Ray Penson

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.


This morning I went to a boat garage sale in Victoria.  Very happy I went as I picked up some bargains and crossed a couple of items off my ‘to get’ list.  Luckily I was able to get into the venue early with a vendor and have a scope around before the public entered.

First I picked up an inflatable dinghy for $150, not a youngster but seems to hold air well and is small enough to handle easily by myself.  It also rolls up quite small for stowage on deck when at sea.

Secondly I found an inflatable kayak, it’s a West Marine Advanced Elements model.  Not exactly top of the range but for $100 it will do nicely.  So, all my boating needs met for $250 in one morning.

This afternoon I bought an additional solar panel to complement my existing panel.  With both panels I only have a total of 100W.  However, my electrical needs are light and the two panels should be fine for day to day operation without running the engine.  Yesterday I fitted LED’s lamps to my navigation lights, they use very little power and put out a nice bright light.  This cuts down on the battery drain overnight when at sea.

Spring Blossom in Victoria. Photo Ray Penson jpg
Spring Blossom in Victoria. Photo Ray Penson 

The cherry blossom is out in force in Victoria, very pretty but of course it rained and blew cold just after I took the photo.

Today was too cold, windy and wet to do much outside.  Anyway my hands needed a break to heal after doing rope work yesterday.  My hands are still soft from the easy life at home over summer.  It was also too cold to do another epoxy patch in the fresh water tank today, I will do it first thing in the morning.