Sailing on the westerlies


It is Saturday night 9:00 I have just cooked up some Quinoa and heated the stew. tastes great but is a bit too hot to eat. The west wind has kept the sea up all day and us scooting along at breakneck speed.

It’s the second night that we have the company of the west wind for dinner and I can only take it standing up one hand on the grab rail over the stove the other with a spoon in my hand waiting to time my scoop of stew from a pot on the gimballed stove. And all the while trying to keep my footing. I am grateful for the miles under the keel and it is the reason I am able to put up with the motion. We just gybed so up into the cock pit disengaged the vane bring back on course and back down to keep an eye on dinner.

The steady west wind has brought us to within 1083 miles of the Cape (Reinga) so there is no complaint here.

Dec 20 -2

I am always hungry so dinner is the big meal of the day. Westerlies will be replaced by northerlies some time after midnight so will be on deck to gybe into those, but before that it will go light till the north wind takes hold of us. These transition periods are always filled with opportunities to exercise patience, which after coming out of a deep sleep is often hard to find.  It may take several hours for the transition to take hold and if the sky is clear it is of course a gift to look skyward past the wind indicator on the mast head into the milky way.

As the wind makes its transition it is difficult to keep way on (forward  movement)  and the vane is uncooperative in light airs as is the seaway.

A fair bit of cajoling takes place and some innovative strategies are tested to try to keep us going in the right direction. Should the sky be black with cloud there is a distinct possibility we can do a few donuts, which is completely humiliating even if no one is there to see it but me.

The very hardest thing at this time as to have some sense of perspective and a good sense of humour. The ability to laugh at myself has been my only saving grace. At times like this it is easy to completely lose it and believe me it is not a pretty site. No matter how futile the situation might seem, in the end, it is always up to me to get on with it as there is no one else to blame or help. 

Well I have scraped the last bit of stew out of the pot and it’s time to wash the pot and get ready for a good night’s sailing.

Lat 39 07.000 S long 149 19.000 E Course 87 t Speed 6 kts Wind W10-15 Waves w 2mCloud 40% Temp 17 C Baro 1017 steady Last 25 hr 155 nm

Distance to Cape Reinga: 1142 nm

Dec 20


  1. That stew looks so good! Would love the recipe!

  2. Hi Glenn, Dianne and I have been following your latest epic with great interest, and thanks for your vivid descriptive posts and amazing pics. You’ll soon be passing out of the Tasman Sea into the Pacific, and as matters stand today you are about 1500 km from Auckland. We wish you good sailing and dry sleeping bags for the next two weeks or so, when you’ll be meeting up with MaryLou in Kiwiland. Tonight we’ll be meeting Mike and Jean for dinner at the Penny Farthing, where we’ll raise our glasses in your honour. Very best wishes. Stan

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