Lisa Blair is attempting to become the first woman to circumnavigate Australia solo, non-stop and unassisted. She is currently off Coral Bay on the Western Australian coast after being forced into a long tack offshore owing to headwinds. Here is her latest blog:
It has been another roller coaster of a night for me out here with the winds holding at 20 knots from the SSW and the swell is still in the 3-meter range. There wasn't a whole lot that I could do on-deck yesterday as I was still just trying to cover some ground to the west and sail out to 112 degrees east before tacking South.
Bob McDavit (Metbob) has found a nice current for me to pick up and ride south out there but I have to get there first. I was still 80nm away at sunset so I was looking at all night on the port tack. This is fine and the boat was handling the waves well but unfortunately, my bunk is on the port side so it was another night of sleeping against the lee cloth rather than comfortably against the bulkhead wall.
As the winds were consistent and the boat was going well I was able to get to sleep fairly early and so I think I may have managed 7 hours sleep in naps over the course of last night which is one of the longest sleeps I have had all trip, even if the boat was bucking beneath me. I did wake feeling rested but I am still feeling a little low on energy so I have been making a focused effort to eat better and last night for dinner I made a pouch of freeze-dried Lentil soup with some of my wraps/naans and have been making sure to include protein in my main meals.
I also went to the effort of removing the sheet that was covering my bunk and getting out my sleeping bag again. It isn't really cold enough for it yet but given the chill, I caught the night before I felt that even if all I did was sleep on it it is good to have it there in case I get that cold again. The temperature gauge is showing 28 degrees at night and 35 in the day.
After achieving almost nothing today and filling in my time by reading books, it was finally time to tack the boat just a short while ago. I have been lucky so far as the forecast that I looked at showed that the winds were going to be turning to the direct South. For me, this would have been a nightmare and made the 1000 nm South to the cape all the more difficult. The winds, however, have been holding from a True Wind Direction of 220-240 degrees so SSW to SW and once I tacked to the port tack I was able the hold 180-160 degrees course so I am even laying my target heading.
I have over 160nm to travel in this direction before I will likely need to tack out again and I am still sailing with one reef in the mainsail and the J3 headsail although the winds are forecast to ease a bit and in this swell it is nice to have a little power from the boat so I may end up needing to shake that reef sometime in the night.