Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 17 to FP - Our Blissful Day

Time: 2330UTC, COG 250T, SOG 5.0kts, Distance Remaining: 549nm

It is a day from heaven after a night from hell. Mostly Mark's part of the
night was as frustrating and annoying as could be. Already being exhausted
didn't help. His shift started at 6:30pm, with a nasty squall approaching
our very exact position. It played around with the wind and had rain in it,
drenching Irie and all its exposed contents in dire need of rinsing. When
the squall moved on, so did the wind. Not even one knot stayed behind. Our
boat was totally becalmed, sails flapping, rigging creaking and banging from
the left-right movement in the churned up seas. Half an hour of motoring
brought us to a slightly better place to be.

A tiny breeze came back, out of a very inconvenient direction for Irie at
night (when the spinnaker is put away): directly behind her. Mark tried full
jib and mainsail, part jib and the main, just the main; nothing worked to
stay on course and keep moving. We didn't want to be 30° off course all
night, doing better speed with two sails, so he resorted to the slowest
option, mainsail only, to give boat and crew some needed rest and only be
off course 10°. While the wind fluctuated all night, and more squalls
arrived, Irie was creeping along at 3 knots.

The first part of my shift looked alike, except that our speed dropped below
3 knots. Grrrrr... But around 3am, my muffled begging, cursing, promising
and complaining was heard. The wind shifted to a better direction (SE), I
unfurled the jib, got on course and launched Irie towards the Gambiers at
4-5 knots. My smile was back. The night ended with the gorgeous setting of a
near full moon.

Today started then with a pretty sunrise, opening up the skies. Would day 17
be the one perfect day? The mainsail received two reefs, the spinnaker
replaced the jib and Mark joined me in the cockpit. After an hour of
fighting the collapsing spinnaker, we dropped the main all the way and let
the colorful light air sail scoop up all the wind. The sky is light blue
with a few puffy clouds, the ocean is deep blue and calm and comfortable.
Irie is whizzing along again at 5-6 knots. Sailing at its best! For now.
When the night approaches, we will have to take the spinnaker down again
(you don't want to get caught by a squall with that thing up) and figure out
a new set-up. Hopefully the wind will agree with us from the start, this

No comments: