A difficult night. The wind picked up, and the speeds picked up, and it is nerve-wracking. I don’t like it. We switched from the fractional gennaker to the solent to the staysail, all with 2 reefs in the mainsail, and I would have put in a 3rd if I’d had confidence that in the dark we could have gotten the mainsail halyard locked. Yesterday, when putting in the second reef, it took over an hour to get the lock to lock.
We have regularly hit speeds in the 20s, with the high being 24.7 knots just a few minutes ago. I don’t understand how the leaders can deal with the speeds, and the stress that comes with them. The boat is noisy, and jittery, and bouncing off waves at high speeds, and you have to be very careful, and in the dark, in the cabin, you just imagine the worst is going on outside, and if the autopilot makes a mistake…
There is a frontal system coming through tonight, and I’m sure that all of the other skippers in our group (which is expanding in geography as the leaders pull away) all have the same pit in their stomach as I do. But it is sunny outside, and the sky and the sea are a deep blue, there are birds trailing the boat occasionally looking for food in our wake, and we’re almost to the prime meridian. That will be a navigational landmark just as crossing the equator was.
34° 36’S x 4° 57’W
True Wind Speed
True Wind Direction
Main sail with 2 reefs, plus Solent
70° F / 22.2° C
67° F / 19.4° C
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