Tharrr she blows.
For any of us board to believe that we would have perfect sailing conditions all the way to the Falklands we would be deemed crazy. Eventually we must, according to carefully bound reports from the past two to three hundred years, strike some Southern Ocean weather.
And that we have!
For the past twenty four hours the weather has been exactly what we were hoping we "might" be able to avoid. Mostly the wind has been blowing from the West, immediately behind us, so we have been gibing often to make full use of the wind. Wind is certainly what we have with speeds averaging thirty to forty knots with serious squalls coming through more often than we would like. The squalls hit us hard with some up to sixty knots but mostly around forty five to fifty.
Of course these winds combined with mountainess seas are providing us with some very interesting moments to say the least. The swells as mentioned are rather large, perhaps around eight to ten metres however down here in the Southern Ocean, because of the water depth, averaging around three thousand metres, the swells are not sharp as you would experience in more shallow water. Having said this however with these gusts of wind hitting sixty knots the wind waves on top make the swells a little dangerous. From time to time one of these rogu? swells with a large wind wave on top slams into the side of us near the Starboard quarter. As the tons of water hits the hull we are lifted and thrown sideways often being pushed further sideways by the power of the swell. We recover and get back on course only to be hit with another. Despite all this we are very safe. At present the only sail we have up is the main reefed right down to the third reef giving us a safe speed of around d eight to ten knots with occasional bursts down swells to fifteen.
As we approach Cape Horn we have to be very mindful of the shallower water we will be sailing into in the Drake Passage from water three thousand metres deep to water that is just one hundred and fifty metres deep. So because of this shallow water "if" these massive swells continue we will choose not to sail close to Cape Horn to avoid dangerous conditions. In this case our course would then take us South of Diego Ramirez where we can stay in very deep water before swinging North East towards the Falklands. This would be a very disappointing result for we all would love to sail close enough to see Cabo De Hornos.
We are all well however looking forward to a nice steak in Port Stanley.
Forecast from Lee Bruce
Still a complicated pattern in the forecast.
A front is expected to be to your NW late on the 11th--aligned NE to SW.
The front is expected to slow, and should be near Ramirez at about 12/06Z.
Wind on the SE side of the front should be NNE, and wind on the NW side should be WNW.
Based on the latest, and aiming for Ramirez : the most efficient route might involve pushing NE to 56S before coming back down.
But that@@apos@@s a bit scary in case things change and you get stuck too far north.
So the forecast below is based on trying to hold a rhumb line to Ramirez, but should involve some southing:
Wind stays 30-35 gust 40kt thru 11/00Z.
11/06: WSW 25-30
11/12: W 15, clocking thru NW and becoming very light
11/18: NNE 5-10, incrsg.
12/00: NNE 20
12/06: backing as front passes; bcmg NNW 15-20
12/18: WNW 25-30
13/06: WNW/NW 20-25
13/18: SW 20-25
The above assumes passing Ramirez about 25nm to the south, but we may see changes in subsequent forecasts.