15 January 2014

We had a very pleasant end to the day yesterday. The wind picked up enough to keep us slowly sailing downwind; the nearly full moon rose astern and the sun sank down below a horizon that was fine and settled.
We sailed along easily all night with sails filled but around mid-day the wind dropped and backed and we are now having to sail east of south to keep going.

I really want to get a bit nearer to the land but this wind isn’t letting us. If it keeps up we may have to tack to get inshore a bit. When the old square riggers were on this track it was common for the larger ships, which were well able to stand up to the weather, to hold a course straight from Rio to the Horn. But many of the Captains on smaller ships said it was good advice to keep within 100 miles of the coast between Cabo Corrienties, where we are now and the south. So that is what I am attempting to do. When gales come on they are nearly always from the west and once they have blown through the sea isn’t too long in settling down again.
This wind isn’t helping us today and if it backs too far we will have to tack round to head nearer the coast.

I’ve spent a while of the afternoon swatting flies. We had a swarm of bluebottles land onboard as well as a few moths, a couple of wasps and two red and black things that were over an inch long and I don’t know what they were. I don’t mind swatting the flies and wasps but it seems a shame to get rid of the moths. Still, I can’t allow them to take up residence. You would maybe expect this close in to the land but we are about 80 miles offshore.

I was able to download a weather file for this area from the Winlink radio set-up. It said the wind for this area would be easterly F3 with a probability of isolated storms. I looked outside. The weather was fine and settled and the barometer was neither too high nor too low. But, I believe you can get storms coming from a clear blue sky down here so I’ve been keeping a watchful eye all day. So, far we’re ok.

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