Day 50 Calm seas, gentle motion 21/10/13

Week 8

Position: 30.03 S, 172.09 W

Oct 21 after crossing IDL

The scene I find myself in is hypnotic. It is so tranquil with the the calm seas and the gentle motion. This is practically unheard of while making an ocean crossing. Our speed fluctuates with the gentle breeze of the Hi we find ourselves in for the last day and probably the next two days. I am sitting on the foredeck with the computer on my lap looking forward, my back resting against the coach house. I’m sitting in the shade wearing a tee shirt and shorts, no shoes and a burgeoning Earnest Hemingway beard itching my face. My heart is filled with contentment. My surroundings are so different and rich in colour. West Wind II is extraordinary. She turns these gentle winds into 4.5 knots of gentle speed over swells that have travelled from many miles away with a graceful motion, always forward. 

The feeling of sailing towards a horizon that remains the same distance away is an odd one. It feels as though I’m sailing on a plate of ocean that is being carried across the world like a waiter would carry a plate across a restaurant. I never seem to get any further across, always sailing in the middle of the plate. The only thing that changes is the dome above the plate, half the time in the light, the other half in the dark or under the glow of heavenly bodies. Most of the time the waiter is gyrating the plate from place to place and occasionally I find myself in the dishwasher.

I think when I get close to New Zealand I’ll take a good look beyond the plate at the land so I can gather some perspective before I start across the southern ocean, the biggest restaurant on the planet. For now, I’m enjoying being on the plate, sailing merrily along.

The sun is just coming up over the edge of the plate and we have been becalmed since 10 pm last night. The main is down and there is a small triangle of jib out in the hopes it will keep us moving and steady the death roll. Up twice in the night. I think the nice little breeze that quietly drew us along towards NZ has gone for today and we will just have to “roll with it” for the rest of the day. 

I have just gone around and tightened all the toe rail stanchion bases and jib t-track bolts in an attempt to stave off the leaks. Another round of caulking this afternoon after lunch. Picture perfect day on the high seas, bright sunshine, a warm 10 knot breeze. Deep indigo sea. Full sail bright white against the deep blue sky. Billowy white clouds all the way around the horizon and off the edge, clear sky above. Down below the sound of water gurgling by. Very light motion reminds me of swaying in a hammock. 

Course 215 T Speed 4 knots Wind 5-10 East Waves swell 1 m Cloud 10% Temp 23 C Baro 1022 falling Miles in last 24 hrs: 125 nm



  1. I’m curious what you have for a camera? I see your daughter had a GoPro in the picture of her on the ham radio. Perhaps when you get near NZ you can take some photos so that when you return to the endless ocean plate you’ll have something to remember what islands look like!

    A GoPro would be very awesome in the crazy seas you will eventually be facing.


  2. Mike Byrnes says

    Hi Glen. I am loving your daily log. Brings back offshore memories. Hope you haul in some fish, eat well, love your tunes and keep safe.
    Go man go! Mike

  3. Patrick from Bramlea Court on Croft Street, I enjoy your journal, thanks, Pat

  4. Paul Watson says

    Hey Glenn: I’ve been avidly following your journey for 50 days now and I look forward to each and every post you make. I thought I’d pass on a snippet of chat I heard on the scaffolding on Trounce Alley as I came out the rear entrance of my lawyers office 48 days ago. It was so out of context from what I had been discussing, that I thought I was momentarily in the twilight zone. This voice said “Hey did you hear that Glenn is going around the world backwards” and the other said “When did he start?” and the other one said “Just a couple of days ago and I guess he’ll be back next year sometime”. I don’t know who they were but it just goes to show that you are being talked about all over the place. Safe sailing my man, and I hope you catch a fish soon! All the best, Paul

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Hey thanks Paul. I’ll let him know. He was working at the Tapa Bar in Trounce Alley just before he left. I’ll ask him if his ears are burning. ML

  5. Pat and Fred Lark says

    Hi Glenn,

    Good grief but I hope you are writing a book about your adventures. Wonderful reading and we thank you for that. Just so you know we had our first skiff of snow. Just saying. As always we have our eye on you. What a ride!

    Pat and Fred

Leave a Reply to Mike Byrnes Cancel reply