Already at midnight we started the new day wearing ship, and heading South, as we were getting closer and closer to the coast, on our NE-ly course. After around 25 miles sailing on that direction, we wear ship again by breakfast time, changing 180º our course and start to head northwards.
Already at midnight we started the new day wearing ship, and heading South, as we were getting closer and closer to the coast, on our NE-ly course. After around 25 miles sailing on that direction, we wear ship again by breakfast time, changing 180º our course and start to head northwards. We still have NW to WNW winds and we have to wait in this area, sailing back and forth North and Southwards hoping for a wind change.
We repeat the wearing manoeuvre at 12:30h, changing our course to the South, and then in the afternoon, around 17:00, with a wind from 300º and shifting quickly 45º, we wear ship again to head Eastwards on dying wind and calm conditions. On that course we get closer to the coast, and later on, after dinner, we are busy with one more time, wearing ship, sailing now on a WSW direction. All and all, another day of unstable winds, with fewer showers though, and becoming calm in the afternoon and evening and all the time the constantly flowing current pushing us to the South-Southeast with 1,8 knots.
The whole day we have land in sight, and depending on the tack we sail, after all the turns we did today, the group of islands called Grafton is on our port or starboard side.
Cape Horn is showing its multiple faces during this trip, beautiful, difficult, hard, needing the full senses and great sailing skills from Captain and Mate to plan the route, sailing and adapt to wind changes. Making justice to its reputation and it takes its toll on the full Europa crew. Tough watches, difficult times in the galley, heaps of hours of difficult steering with the squalls, the two medical evacuations we had from the Wims in Mar del Plata and some other small incidents while working on deck or aloft. But we are all loving the harsh sailing conditions and the difficulties to face on such an incredible trip, likewise the many seabirds around, with the ocean as their home and highly adjustable to its variable conditions. As soon as we are under light airs, from the afternoon onwards, the numerous Royal and Wandering albatrosses that have been flying around enjoying the wind until now, choose, just as us, to sit in the water waiting for fair winds also. Even a couple of Wandering albatrosses take time to perform some beautiful courtship displays while floating close to us.
Soon we will receive fair winds to gain some distance from the coast, sailing in a westerly direction and heading North afterwards for the 100 nm left to reach Cabo Pilar, the Pacific Ocean entrance of Straits of Magellan.
A Low Pressure system will pass just North of us and will give us Easterly and later Southerly winds. They give us the opportunity to circum-navigate this Low, with fair winds. Quite a D-tour but hopefully it brings us to the entrance of the Straits of Magellan.
Gradually and unhurriedly, the wind shift starts to happen during the night, veering to the North, and we can slowly start our way back to the open waters to the West, under 8 knots of wind, sailing at around 2 knots, hoping for an increasing wind force soon. Under these circumstances we set more sail, and soon we are sailing with all canvas set, with the exception of the Skysails, Main staysails, Flying jib and Dekzwabber, trying to catch as much of the breeze as possible and stop the influence of the constantly South pushing current.
Cabo Pilar we are on our way!