Slow going in light winds


Day 10 Tuesday, December 6, 2016 early morning

Lat 39.19 S Long 164 W Course 10 T Speed 3.5n knots Wind NE 5 knots Waves SW 2 metres Cloud 80% Baro 1026
Range to Rarotonga: 1108 nm Distance in last 24 hrs: 150 nm

It was a “biblical” sunrise this morning – beautiful amber rays streaking down through the clouds into a very reduced sea off our starboard beam. Perkins (the engine) has taken over from the wind. We have a limited amount of fuel but at 500 RPMs, we have enough to power today and maybe 130 hrs in total. The high pressure system we just entered is rather large and is moving slowly east so we’re in this for a few days at least.  I would rather have a gale than no wind. I can do something with a gale but there is nothing you can do with calm except motor. I have my ear plugs in.

Last night insomnia kept me up til the wee hours so I spent the time carving a few more links in the wooden chain and raided the food stores. Sally Knight I found the xmas cake you gave me and after I finished a bowl of cereal I devoured that. It was delicious, thank you!

Having no wind and a limited solar power supply will have an effect on the use of the radio and computer, will also give me more free time. I may finish the chain faster than I thought. I will definitely be reading on my Kindle, brush up on the sextant, and get some rope work done. Yesterday was Spa day onboard so I may do some laundry. I could go to the gym as well. I’m going to look at the chart and find the closest island to refuel. It may be Rarotonga. Nice to have that to look forward to. Will be keeping an eye out for cyclones as well. 

On the positive side, the moon is waxing and last night the moonlight was beautiful in the cockpit. The moon has its own special light and I love it, especially out here with the refection on the water. It also makes the constellations more visible. There is still a healthy number of petrels around the boat, mainly in the morning and evening. With the wind down, of course there aren’t any Albatross around.   

Tea’s almost done. I may go back to my bunk and try to catch up on some sleep … beside the ‘rock crusher’.

late morning

Old Perkins is humming away in the background. The wind is just about completely gone. I’ve rolled in the jib and have three reefs in the main which is choked down but still up. I will do a repair to a small hole I saw in it the other day while I have the chance.

The seas have calmed down although there is a general undulating swell about  3/4 of a metre everywhere mainly coming from the South and because we are headed North the motion on board is minimal, or at least feels like it to me. The decks are dry so walking around in my deck shoes is great. I won’t be able to keep Perkins running for too long, maybe 12 hrs. today. Psychologically, it helps, knowing we’re moving ahead. Our speed at 500 RPMs is about 4 knots which is respectable, and the fuel consumption is very low.  I’m going to put Rarotonga (Cook Islands) in as a way point, it is almost directly north of me and about a thousand miles. It will be a good focus for the next week or so.


Been motoring since 4:30 local time at a speed of 3.5 -4 knots. Will motor through the afternoon, unless we get 10 knots. Waves still too big to keep wind in the sails. All good. Laundry’s drying in the cockpit and main sail is now repaired.



  1. Hi Marylou, Glenn and family – must admit we are all relieved with your decision to sail north. Understand it was a massive call to make but without doubt the correct one. Thrilled you are making great progress. Enjoy your quiet days – put on some rock and roll music and dance away friend – after all no one is watching !! Take care – John and family.

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