Thursday, September 06, 2007

Saturday 1st September

At Sea

20 36.210 S
168 10.254 W (at Midnight)

After midnight things got even rougher, the wind picked up even more to 25 knots and gusts up to 30 knots; at times it sounded like a train was coming at us down a tunnel, we certainly got our money’s worth out of the wind generator! At around 03.30hrs we heeled over so far that the gunwale was underwater and the wash along the deck collected in the lee cloth and broke all the cable ties holding it in place except for 3. I was on watch and had to cut the remaining cable ties off in order to save the lee cloth from being lost overboard; this was all very well but now I could see the waves and the sea rushing past us at deck level whereas before it had been hidden by the lee cloths – it made it so much more scary. The other thing that happened was that the water collected behind the lee cloth had nowhere to go except into the cockpit and even managed to get underneath the strata glass curtains which were secured in place, I got a little wet! We continued to hurtle onwards until dawn which broke overcast; the sky was a horrid grey colour. Finally at around 10.00hrs the wind dropped to 19 knots aft of the beam and the swell dropped to around 6ft; Gerry checked the latest grib chart which showed that we should be getting up to 20 knots of wind – they were close for once! We pulled the jib half way out and put the preventer out on the main. The sun began to show signs of peeping through the clouds and a few patches of blue sky began to appear, at last it looked like we might get a decent day. Shortly after lunch the wind dropped even further – now down to 16 knots with a 6 ft swell, we were still roaring along at 7.5 knots but it was getting more comfortable (or we were just getting used to it). Mid afternoon we encountered another small problem, Gerry went to do something with water and found that there was none; we found this hard to believe as we had used next to none and we were full when we left port. A little investigation showed that we have a pump problem, Gerry fixed it but succeeded in breaking off the handle for the switch over to the other tank (he said it was corroded but who knows!) At least we still had water. The rolling continued and picked back up again as sun set approached, we decided to brave the MREs for dinner (that’s meals ready to eat or army rations for those of you who don’t know). We let Abigail select 3 packs and proceeded to delve into them, and experience what the Army guys live on whilst in combat zones, all I can say is thank goodness that they don’t know before hand what they are getting themselves into! The meals were a great source of amusement, the best things in the packs were the toilet roll sheets and the little Tabasco sauce bottles, the rest leaves a lot to be desired! As night fell the winds began to pick back up and return to the aft of the beam, around midnight we were doing 7 knots with wind speeds of 18 – 20 knots.



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