Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thursday 18th October

At Sea

22 31.333 S
155 02.320 E (at Midnight)

By the time the third watch was beginning the wind was blowing a steady 21 knots and we decided to furl the jib away and put the 2nd reef in the main. It’s not our favourite thing to do at night as it means Gerry has to go out on deck in the dark to secure the reef, with the sea swell steadily growing along with the wind it can be quite dangerous but we figured that it was a necessity. With just the main out and both reefing points in place we still roared along at 7 knots. Dawn arrived and we thought we would try a small amount of jib to see if it would add some stability to our sailing however the wind began to veer around behind us causing the sails to flap so we reduced the jib to pocket handkerchief size and sailed for the rest of the day like that. The wind and sea swell continued to increase during the day with the wind speed now a steady 26 knots and the swell up to 12 feet – some of those waves coming at us from behind were taller than the boat when we hit a trough and we were lucky not to get pooped! It didn’t help that we seemed to be getting swell from 3 different directions, which is alright when each direction hits on it’s own but when 2 or 3 different direction waves hit at the same time the boat gets tossed about like a cork – thank goodness we bob up quite well. We tried to grab some sleep during the day time to make up for the lack of sleep during the night but we are both quite tired and in need of a decent stretch of sleep to keep us from making stupid mistakes. As 16.00hrs approached we were just about on top of the sleep problem, the sky clouded over and it began to rain – oh joy! We were now wet as well as tired; luckily it didn’t last too long. The sun (what sun?) set behind a bank of clouds – still no green flash! As we began the night watches the wind dropped a little to 24 knots and we were making 7 -8 knots speed, good speed but it was very rolly and quite rough. Finally at 23.00hrs we furled the rest of the jib away to reduce our sail area for the night.



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