During last night the wild winds we had during the day seem to decrease a bit and reach some stability around 25 to 35kn. Under those conditions we started setting more canvas. By breakfast we sail with all canvas set with the exemption of the upper staysails, main course and the gaff topsail.
As we have a couple of sails under repair, we play around a bit with their replacements. Lacking the mizzen middle staysail (or mizzen topmast staysail), we sail with both lower sails set (Desmond and the smaller aap). We also rig an old jib instead of the dekzwabber. It took quite a bit of tuning to get it set properly and it reaches almost from the foremast fife-rail to the halyard block on the main mast. From now on it is re-baptized as “Jibzwabber”.
Variable winds in force from a westerly direction, as we still follow the back side of the low pressure system that has been with us for the last couple of days. No need for bracing or many sail movements today, as we actually follow the wind, starting the day sailing on a broad reach and finishing the day close to beam reach. We will follow this depression until, as the forecast predicts, we will run out of wind as we come closer to Tristan and the atmospheric pressure is forecasted to increase and the winds to blow from a northerly direction.
The windy and sunny day brought us many interesting wildlife sights today. Starting with a small pod of the gorgeous and quite rare Southern Right whale dolphins. With their streamlined body shape, they share their name with right whales because both lack a dorsal fin. Southern Right whale dolphins have a circumpolar distribution in sub Antarctic to temperate waters, usually north of the Antarctic Convergence, preferring deep waters. Besides the already spotted Spectacled petrels, prions and Atlantic petrels, a new species of this family popped up today for a while close to the ship, the Grey petrel. Again this species have a quite specific breeding area, restricted to the remote islands of Tristan da Cunha and Gough, Marion, Crozet, Kerguelen, Campbell and Antipodes Islands.