Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sunday 16th September

At sea

19 28.724 S
178 54.484 W (at Midnight)

At dawn the sky was overcast and by 08.00hrs it was raining, the weather forecast for today had been for 15 knots – huh it blew 22 – 28knots on the beam. We put the jib out (reefed) to try and steady us as we were rolling badly; the swell was 10 feet and quite uncomfortable. For the entire day we saw nothing, no fish, whales, ships or sun. I would go as far as to say it was a miserable day of sailing however by tea time it had calmed right down to 15 knots (well they got it right at last!) and the swell had died away to 1-3 feet, it felt almost eerie. I went off to bed at 19.30hrs as Gerry took first watch; half an hour later he was screaming for me to come and help him on deck, I raced out in my sleep attire (!) as he threw the jib sheet at me and said we need to get the jib away. We were being hit by a squall which was gusting up to 25knots. Gerry was having to hand steer as the preventer was still on the main and as the wind picked up speed going forward of the beam causing the main to flap and try to crash across to the other tack; George couldn’t adjust quickly enough hence the hand steering. At the most crucial moment our wind indicator failed – we had no read out of the wind speed or direction then it flashed back on again, then off, then on – it was playing its own stupid game of chicken and we had to guess where the next gust of wind was coming from. Once we finally got out from the squalls the wind indicator settled back down and behaved perfectly. We think it may have been something like lightening or ozone in the clouds going over that affected the operating of the wind indicator, we were not impressed though. Gerry had to steer us off course to keep the wind on our beam and we ended up being just over 4 miles off track by the end of the squalls (yes there was more than one). Once there were no further squalls on radar I tried to go back to bed but was back out on deck within 15 minutes to help out. Eventually I went back to bed and slept for an hour and a half before Gerry woke me up needing to sleep himself.



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