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This abomination of a sail plan, ugly and eye sore though it may be, has been doing the trick for the last 14 or so hours.

I kept the pole up when furling the Solent knowing I would need it off and on as the wind backed and veered. Reaching at angles greater than 120 apparent means a jib cannot be poled out. In those instances, the main overpowers the windvane and steering effort goes through the roof.

The amount of weather helm generated is a mystery to me. I’ve tried everything that should work with no improvement whatsoever. I have John Letcher’s superlative ‘Self-Steering for Sailing Craft’ aboard and it struck me that I could devise a steering sail of sorts using the pole and Solent.

Now, when weather helm starts to round us up, the steering sail assists the windvane is driving us back in course. Steering effort is reduced and steering efficiency, as in how straight a course we are steering, improves.

It’s not perfect, but at least better. I’m just thankful no one else with a sailboat is out here to see it!.

Follow my tracks in real-time:


  • Claude
    Posted at 20:39h, 29 March Reply

    In weather like today having a fellow partner would make the difference of the world.

    Heavy weather conditions are great only when you have enough energy to enjoy it. I wish you the time of your life.

  • Tony Yanca
    Posted at 02:58h, 06 April Reply

    Hi Bert, I came across your voyage on goodnewsnetwork.org looking for more positive and up-beat news in the world today. As we continue to try to isolate ourselves looking to conquer this extremely serious virus, you’re essentially isolated fighting the elements of Ocean Blue. I’m a surfer in Southern California and I’m always intrigued by extremely passionate individuals who take on these adventures, especially when it involves the ocean. I’m currently listening to some Reggae and enjoying a Pale Ale from our local brewery 🙂 Our Family is healthy and I’ll be working from home tomorrow, but will continue to follow your voyage rooting you on the whole way through. I wish you safe passage and pray that you will utilize all that you’ve learned to help you endure the many obstacles that come your way. You will make complete this voyage and I look forward to your future posts. Take care of yourself.


  • John T.Rice
    Posted at 04:06h, 06 April Reply

    Be safe..pulling for you!

  • Susan Conway Gray
    Posted at 05:56h, 06 April Reply

    What an incredible journey you have set up for yourself!
    I find your reflection on the coronavirus to be incredibly insightful.
    Self isolation as a time to reflect on what we want to become, what legacy we choose to leave behind.
    To many that level of self introspection will appear daunting and even impossible.
    To truly examine our minds, behaviors, and motivations while holding them into the light through the prism of our souls is an exercise most would not have the courage to do.
    But I hope some will take up that challenge.
    Good luck to you!

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