Saturday, June 23, 2012

12th Night!

Again I am sending this the following morning:
@ 0000 Z 23 Jun 2012 Reboot was as:
N 35 02
W 35 58
1. Have been dodging storms but still have very strong weather. Last night winds were in the 30 to 35 knot range, seas 10 to 12 feet. The first time you see a wave above the level of your solar panels gives you pause.
2. It is amazing what small course changes (and wind changes) can do for the ride. Last night was terrible, wind on the beam, waves crashing over the deck, a couple of halyards doing their version of the Chinese water torture. I learned in Newfoundland to never run with a main at night. The danger of trying to reef while taking green water over the side is just too much. Last night I was running with about 50% jib which was more than enough for 30 knot winds. While being thrown around in my bunk I just put up with the halyards slapping. This morning after dawn I altered course about 10 degrees to stay on track. The entire ride calmed down and (relatively) smoothed out.
3. What an emotional experience it is to be in bad weather for several days in a row. You hear the wind howling. Waves slam against the side. The sails will start to flap and the entire rig will vibrate. You hear the water running against the hull. The "G" forces can be quite significant. You realize two things: (a) You are all alone out here (except for XO but I don't think he would be much help in a emergency) and (b) boats like yours have traveled around the world - a bunch of them have - so they must be sturdy enough to take it.
4. I am about 350 miles from the Azores. The radio stations in Europe are now closer than those in the US. So I try them first to link back and send email.

Fair winds and following seas.

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