We’re making some progress north, or, we’re trying to. We just got clobbered through the night, with 30 knots of wind, upwind, into the big building seas, and crashing and crashing and crashing. This morning, we’re at the edge of a big low pressure system. We had gale warnings yesterday and we’re a little bit just past north of the area for the gale, but it doesn’t make any difference. This stream of wind continues very far north, and is strong. What we’re trying to do, degree by degree, is move to the west.
We’re hard on the wind, steering 30 degrees apparent wind angle, with staysail and 2 reefs in the main, trying to get to the interior of the low, so there will be less wind. When we did our routing, from here to the waypoint just north of Rio, it called for the storm jib, which I’ve never seen in the routing before. Fortunately, we do have the storm jib up on deck, in the bag, all ready except for the halyard. We’ll continue this way this afternoon, and be ready to set the storm jib later tonight. If we tacked over and went into the interior we’d go into no wind and we’d sit there, not making any progress at all. So we’re kind of stuck here for quite awhile, it looks like. The other 3 guys are on the outside of all of this. They are going to get overrun by it, I believe, so hoping that they will be safe through the night.
The conditions are just chaotic. There is really nothing you can do on the boat, because you just have to be holding on at all times, with all 4 limbs. The boat has managed to hang in there. The staysail did a great job, we went with the solent up until about 18 knots of wind last night, which is right where its supposed to get changed, and then came down from 1 reef in the main to the 2 reefs, and tried to do all that quite carefully, without any extra flapping for the sails.
So, we’re in the mode that we’ll probably be in for the rest of today and tonight as well.
33° 45’ S x 41°W