The past 24 hours has been in the cold front of the depression. Winds have finally come down from the average of 45 knots for a 16 hour period, and our thundering sprints of boat speed from 10-12 knots into the mid-20s, ricocheting off waves. The sea increased to 15-20′, cresting, and crashing into the boat. It was very scary for me and for the boat.
The autopilot was able to keep the boat going fairly well downwind, but without any catastrophic accidental gybes or round-ups into the wind. We kept a True Wind Angle of 145 degrees.
I mostly stayed inside the boat, studying the weather, looking for any aspect of it that we could use to get into calmer conditions. There was none. We were caught.
Finally, through the last 6 hours, the wind speed has dropped. The problem has been that we have been going so fast that we have kept up with the storm. We can’t slow down because we do not have any further reductions in sail that we can make. We have a problem lowering the mainsail going downwind, so we have what we have.
We watched the barograph intently in this period for signs that the depression was moving over us. It was, but very slowly. A next question will be whether it goes away quickly enough for the sea state to come down before we have to gybe or tack away from the Antarctic Exclusion Zone.
We have survived the bulk and worst of the storm, wish us luck for this last part.
48° 02’S x 88°08’E
True Wind Speed
True Wind Direction
3 reefs in mainsail, no jib
41°F / 5° C cockpit
49.3° F / 9.6°C
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