Duplicat's Diary

Its all about the angle
by Rick at 11:07:06, 2022-06-02 (day 2951)

What seems like an entirely different age ago, I was sailing from New Caledonia (which is due north of us now) to Fiji. It had been hard on the wind to New Cal from Australia (in fact, we had to put 1 tack in to make the pass), and then again hard on the wind from New Cal to Fiji.

That time, the course was 64degrees true. The wind was a moderate SE tradewind, so quite tight, but doable and it was much more comfortable than the leg to New Cal.

From our current position, if we aimed direct at Fiji, its 693nm and the course would be 54 degrees. An improvement of 10 degrees. If we were in SE trade winds right now, we’d probably take that.

However, for the next few days we have very light winds from the south, moving to the SE so likely a lot of motoring. That being the case, then we could motor to a point which gives us a 26degree course. Even if the trade winds become quite tight, we could still sail nicely at that angle. The cost of this dog leg? 30nm. Thats our plan right now but we are watching the forecasts each run to see if we can improve our strategy…