Sunday, June 11, 2006

Taxing times

The Pacific has certainly not been living up to it's name today. We have had the first 'wet' day of the trip - almost total grey cloud cover and sustained downpours with all the gusty winds to match. It's the roughest sea and the most taxing passage that I have ever encountered. We are hoping this is not how it will be from now until the Marquesas, but if it is, at least it'll be quick!. Nick woke me at 10pm for my watch and I was greeted by (more) torrential rain, a howling gale and monstrous waves. George the wind-vane was doing his best to keep control, and I reefed the genoa considerably to give him a helping hand (Nick had already put 3 reefs in the mainsail). Our speed dropped 3 knots and peace of a kind was restored.

The whole day has been wet and devoid of any sun apart from an hour at sunset. Heavy rain has prohibited us from sitting in the cockpit so we have been nerding down below and doing the occasional bowt of helming when George has struggled. In conditions like today, I find that there is a fine line between exhilaration and fear, and knowing the right time to reduce sail is imperative as things can so quickly get to a point where reefing becomes dangerous and difficult. The wind is one hazard but the waves are another. They come at us from port aft and can knock us for six making the helmsman's job harder (be it George or us)! Most of the time though, we just get carried along the crest of the wave like a toy boat in a bath, and it's quite good fun. One second we're on top of the world and the next we're in a deep dark trough with a wall of water bearing down on us. It's like a rollercoaster!

We're hoping for a break in the cloud and some more consistent wind tomorrow. Our one consolation is that Zefferin are also experiencing this challenging weather. We are not alone!

Position @ 19:55 UTC: S07°14' W118°27'
Daily distance run: 143 nm
Distance to go: 1214 nm
Cumulative distance: 1638 nm
Engine hours:0
Wind: S/SE/E/ENE 15-30 knots
Weather: rough sea, 90% cloud cover, 1010 millibars, gusts up to

1 comment:

Sander said...

Hey, good luck, cheer up, the rain will end! I am not a sailer but can relate a bit - we are sitting in NY, waiting for the winds to drop so we can go sailing the skies on our gliders! We'll check up on you later. Cheers, Sander.