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And Now the Doldrums

December 3, 2014

I awoke to the slapping of sails and the jerking on sail sheets as the wind died and the ocean swells rolled the boat. I had entered the doldrums that equatorial space where the NE trades that brought Columbus to America collide with the SE trades and canceled another out in a sea of overcast skies and squalls. In earlier days big heavy sailing vessels that could only sail downwind and whose heavy sails took a lot of wind to fill and deliver forward motion, mightily around here for weeks. Not so for today’s light yacht.  I am at the moment going on course at 2 knots with a wind of 4 knots, but at any moment the wind could increase, die or turn around and then its "all hands on deck" to adjust the sails to the new conditions.

 

The first Leg was to Bermuda and it was a little slow being six rather than five days. The Second Leg is now completed as I managed to stay north of the coast of South America and now get caught in coastal breezes. Now at the beginning of Leg Three I started with the Doldrums and then headed due south to get to south latitude 40 where I shall hang a left and proceed around the great Southern Ocean on Leg Four to south of New Zealand and Leg Five to the Horn of South America. That is how I am dividing the route.

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