Below 40° South

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A Solo Voyage To The Dark Side of The Moon
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Progress Reports

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Progress report, day three

I had a call from Howard via satphone last night,  he’d had a really good day, made a lot of miles and had rowed in close to shore after the wind died with the last light of day. That far south the sun is going down very late at this time of year, so it was around 11 pm when he got the big Northill anchor embedded in the bottom among a bed of kelp.

His plan for the next day was to try for the entrance to the Magdalena Channel, that’s where Joshua Slocum almost lost his “Spray”, but Spray was not a nimble little ship nor close winded enough to tack out of a blind bay against a strong headwind.  The clumsy old oysterboat needed space, and more manpower than Slocum alone had when in close quarters like that and he was forced in so close to the shore that he broke the mainsail boom against a pinnacle of rock.

For “Southern Cross” though there are many places to shelter, tiny inlets, little beaches, shallow sandbars and river mouths, all big enough to provide protection from the wind and waves.

The forecast for the day is for light variable winds, mainly from the north which means a quartering tailwind, but ironically there may not be enough of a breeze to get him across the 30 miles or so and into shelter in one days sailing.

This was possibly the most risky of the several major crossings planned on this voyage, it was dead flat calm last night, and if there is not enough wind to make that passage, the choices are to stay where he is, or row/sail the last little bit to Puerto Hambre where many fishing boats are anchored waiting out the closed fishing season.  It’s an ideal place to head out from, a good place to get ashore for a walk, sheltered and there are a few people around if he wants a chat.

John Welsford