Day 123 Great Big Seas 2/1/14


Position: 34.18 S, 95.23 E

We’ve been sailing in very big seas for the last few days, some over 6 metres. Winds are 25+ knots. All a bit nerve wracking with a compromised rig.  The sail combination I found that works best in these mostly down wind conditions is a poled out Yankee. The pole has provided stability and a great deal of versatility. Reducing sail area is a simple matter of easing the jib sheet and rolling in the jib to suit the changing wind velocity. I found this works especially well in light air when it’s accompanied by lots of waves of different heights. I’m able to control the damaging slatting down to an acceptable minimum. The Fleming wind vane has also performed very well in these conditions although I’ve now worn out one set of trimming lines due to the yawing back and forth caused by the wave action.

I have to exercise a great deal of patience to set up the vane so it keeps its course and the patience commodity is something I am very short of at times.  First I have to balance the sails and keep the boat on course, not easy in a big seaway. Then I rotate the wind blade so it faces the wind head on, then engage the chain into the tiller. All this has to be done in quick succession, otherwise I lose the ‘slot’ and have to start all over again. Keep in mind, I am working on a deck that is rolling 15 degrees each way and has a pitching motion to match. It’s a kind of circus act. But once I have all the ducks in a row, it is ‘sweet’,  and I can go below and go to sleep. The main in its present state with only a hoist to the spreaders due to the temporary rig support is barely functional up wind, but works well down wind. I’m using the topping lift to control the outer edge of the sail by lowering the boom down toward the deck. We’re still making fairly good daily runs and we’ll eventually get to Fremantle.

Here on the home front in Victoria, B.C. I’m listening to Great Big Sea sing Safely Back to Shore 

Heading: 90 T Boat Speed: 3 knots Wind: SE 5 – 10 kn  Swell: S 3 m Cloud Cover:  30 % Temp: 22 C Baro: 1031 Miles in last 24hrs: 56 nm Battery Voltage: 14.0 v 



  1. Hi Glenn
    I only just found out about you an hour ago. I cannot seem to find earlier posts there see with daily enteries. I do not know what happened but assume the topmast carried away down to the spreaders and you are using a jury rig. Yes a sole non stop is out but you can still make repairs and complete the circumnavigation that is within your grasp. I hope that this mail will encourage you to consider that it will be no mean achievement. We at the Cape Horner`s salute you.

  2. Hey Glenn, talk about upping the ante! This part of your journey must surely be the toughest. We are amazed at your fortitude. Do you figure another 2 to 3 weeks to Freemantle?
    Your descriptions of boat and sea confirm your position of spectacular ‘Maestro of the Seas’.
    Keep strong my friend, there is a large portion of daily love and well wishes going your way from all over the globe.

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