Frustrations of light variable winds...


d'Albora's Action Project: AUS 360 Blog Update

Presented by Pivotel

Blog 7.12.18

Afternoon all,

Oh, what frustrations I have been having in these light variable winds. Actually, I was quite surprised that the winds held out as long as they did. I was quite expecting the light winds to hit yesterday afternoon however they managed to hang around until after midnight blowing in at 10-15 knots from the WNW before they backed all the way around to the South. I gybed to keep course and was able to hold a heading of 065 degrees in the light southerly winds. It wasn't all a loss as I was still in 7-8 knots of wind which is just enough for Climate Action Now to move along in.

That all changed however at 4 am when the winds dropped out to 3-4 knots before swinging all the way around from the SW to the NE over an hour. I was laying in bed and just had to keep bearing away from the course. Finally, when I was aiming N on my heading I got up and put a tack in so that I was again travelling eastwards, however, I was only really able to hold an ESE direction.

Hoping that the winds would stabilize as they were now blowing at a rapid rate of 5 knots I went back below to try for some more sleep. No such luck as 10 minutes later the winds started to veer again and travel from a NE direction back to the E and then back to the S. I was quite frustrated as I was really quite tired and all I wanted was an hr of sleep and all I was getting was wind shift alarms going off and a constant need to be on deck. As the winds veered I again kept bearing away holding the wind angle that I was sailing at until I was pointing to the South. At this point, I was due for another tack so went back on deck and put another tack in.

It was now 6 am and I was still sailing in 5 knots or below, quite often drifting in 2 knots of wind so my progress wasn't all that good of the morning. Finally, after sunrise, the winds filled in from the South at the rapid rate of 8 knots and have since, very slowly, been building up to the 10 knots that I am now sailing in. From what I can tell of the forecast the winds are now expected to build to 15-20 knots tonight and back all the way around to a WNW direction so now I am in preparations to getting Climate Action Now ready for some wind.

These really light conditions tend to frustrate me. It is different if I am half way through a projector at the beginning as it makes very little difference overall however when I get these difficult conditions towards the end of a project I tend to feel like it is a personal affront to me to keep me at sea longer than needed. By this time in a project, I am so ready for land and all the good things that come with that like hot showers and deep fried food... Instead, I am drifting in the Southern Ocean knowing that every day spent in light fickle winds is another day that I am going to have to spend at sea and that gets to me as it delays me past my preferred arrival time.

I shouldn't really complain because I really haven't had the best run with the weather this whole trip so I really shouldn't expect anything different in the last week at sea. The only real good run that I have managed was the Great Australian Bight when I was able to have following winds for so long and at the moment the forecast is showing strong NE winds once I round Tasmania so I will likely have a battle to the finish however that is several days away and the forecast is changing daily at the moment with the influence of this High-Pressure system.

Anyway enough about the weather I can just say that I will be really looking forward to the party on arrival.

Thanks to the following Sponsors for all their continued support: d’Albora Marinas, Pivotel  B&G, Australian Geographic, Zhik , Park Fuels, Karver, 3M, White Bay 6 Marine Park, and Great Circle Life Raft