We have found ourselves sailing SSE and even due south at times to avoid a nasty low pressure system that was passing by to the north of us. The night before last, we even hove to for 18 hours to 'supposedly' get some rest, but that proved to be almost as uncomfortable as pounding into the waves. Around midnight last night, the winds and seas started to ease up giving us a nice reprieve and the outlook for the next several days looks very favorable.
Here's a pic of Orca III in the swell, you may have to enlarge the picture to see them, this will give you a good idea of how big the seas are.
One of the nicest things about this passage has been being in VHF range with Orca III, it's amazing what that little lifeline of contact will do for your spirits. While we were hove to, we drifted farther apart and could only make contact at the pre-arranged times via the SSB radio - still good but not quite the same as being able to pick up the VHF and chatting whenever you feel like it. We are now back in VHF range with Orca III just over a mile away. We are still sailing in relatively close proximity to both Orca III and Candine and we talk at least once a day on the SSB to exchange position reports and discuss weather and routing. It's very nice to have the support of cruising buddies when something goes wrong. Candine is experiencing an overheating problem and was able to discuss a solution with Orca III over the radio.
We're really looking forward to making some great progress over the next several days while the winds are favorable to travel east, that way when the winds shift, we'll be far enough over to alter course to the north and still make it to the Australs.
*NOTE* You can see our track and current position by clicking on 'current position' near the bottom of the right hand column. We update our position daily.