24th March, 11 50 UT,
So far has been too great, hence we stopped now.Already in the morning we were running out of wind, but we were still progressing, around 09 UT it stopped completely. For a while I kept pushing the C0, but I always worry for it to break in these situations. Because the waves are the same, they running under us making us sway, and both sails are clapping. Then I hoisted the solent.
Anyways, once we can’t change the situation, at least I cut my hair and had a shower – needless to say -, for the first time since Bluff. Then I had to find something to do because it’s silly to be just sitting there, watching the sails clapping and fretting about it. I checked the forecast, which shows there should be 8-10 knots south-easterly wind here, but it ain’t. It shows an increase by the night, maybe we’ll have something then.
I look up at the instruments, 1,9 knots downwind, 1,47 knots speed.
Luckily we weren’t swinging for too long, around noon, exactly from the opposite direction than what I expected, so from south-west, a 4, then a 5, then a 6 knots breeze had come. First I didn’t care, I thought I won’t let it make a fool of me. But it didn’t go away. By the time I adjusted the sails, 8 knots were blowing and we had 4 knots of speed. It’s not a bluff – I thought. In half an hour it increased to 11 knots, two hours later 15 knots. We didn’t understand, if this was not just a local breeze but really builds up and steadily blows, then what the forecast said was not true. In the afternoon we checked a newer forecast, that was more accurate, but still didn’t show reality. Anyways, we were progressing, that’s the main point.
From time to time, we have to get back into the world where one listens to his own instincts and experiences, watching clouds, and not only the computer.
We progressed quite steadily with the C0 in the afternoon, expecting a change for the night. C was on watch and I went to rest, which means I transferred lots of footages to my laptop from the camera, that was very much full. When it was done, I asked C if everything was okay and whether I could go to sleep. Of course, he nodded zealously, although there are a few clouds there is no problem, just go to sleep! My head hasn’t touched the pillow yet, when suddenly we heeled 50°, everything flying and falling, C shouting for me. I jumped out as I was, no time for my glasses. C on the cockpit floor, trying to reach the C0 sheet with one arm to ease on it, I eased on the main and bore away to complete downwind. I wildly start winching the furling, but the sail is pulling so heavily, it runs out again and again. The sheet keeps slipping out even though I keep winching without a pause. By the second time, my lung burns, I keep winching as much as I can. C helps me with one arm. When it ran out again, I thought it was over, we’d loose the sail. We didn’t give up, bore away even more that we were sailing by the lee, but the waves weren’t so big for the boat to jibe. I couldn’t even see, I was just pushing the grinder. I shout for C not to help me, rather watch the sheet instead not to be too tight or too loose, and keep easing as I’m rolling it. I was flushed with heat, my arms went on rolling, and I could hear my own temple beating, The sail has reached a point where its hanging part wasn’t enough to pull out the sail. This sail has never been rolled so tight before… We organized all ropes, I hoisted the solent, but there was only 26 knots of wind by then. We were sitting there, heaving, my shirt soaking wet and sweat dripping from my nose.
Nice rescue! we thought.
A half an hour later we jibed, since then we’ve been progressing safely in a good direction. Now I need to replace the calories I burned, I’m making dinner.
23 10 UT,
I sent C to rest, I’m on watch. Naturally as the wind goes under 20 knots, I hoist the C0 again, we are sailing with that in the night. It’s clear sky, full of stars, and although only one quarter of the moon is light, we can always see the whole sphere, the dark side is visible too. There are only a few cirrocumulus, but we better be careful and alert, you never know…
I made a nice cup of tea and sat outside under the starry sky to admire and wonder.
24th March at 23 20 UT – position: 25° 59,2′ S, 033° 21′ W
water temperature: 24,6°C
Latest position at 25.03. 9UTC