Day 12 - Regina's First Atlantic Storm

Espen Aalstad
Thu 6 Dec 2007 22:32
17:27N 42:04W   
Today I woke up to the sound of rain against my hatch and the thumbing of feet overhead as my parents performed yet another gybe. It had apparently been a quiet night, but the wind was increasing. After having tumbled out of bed, bumped around a few times and gone through my morning rituals, I made it out into the fresh, but extremly wet air. Both my parents were soaked from head to toe, but dad was still in shorts. Finally the sun came out along with the bread from the oven and we could dry up and eat yet another delicious breakfast.
    "Close the hatches, its going to rain again" ... I was brushing my teeth and since the rain had not started yet, I thought it could wait. Wrong! Instead I got a free shower as the water trapped in the sails came tumbling through the hatch in the bathroom...oh well. The morning went and soon our little storm was starting to build up. At around 1 the wind kicked in (followed by drizzling rain) and after a while the wind was up to 30 kts and the boys had to take over as Mum and I retreated into the warmth. Mum called grandma for the first time to tell her all is well and calm, 5 minutes later, the instruments twitched and showed around 35 to 40 kts wind and big black clouds came up behind us. To sum it all up; we could in the end log max 44 kts wind and a  top speed of 14.9 kts with 2 reef and a small genoa. Radio contact with Baila Baila warned us that we shouldn't head too far north... We think we managed to avoid the worst part of the storm as the arc control tells us that a couple boats have logged 50 kts max and even bigger waves (if this is possible) because of a "stationary area of thunder cells". Radio contact also tells us that a few boats have got damage to their sails (Kallioppe III tells us about there 1.5m rip in the main sail). 
Dinner: Pasta carbonara..mmmm, no tuna fish ;)
Current weather: around 20 kts wind and no rain. Dark.
xxx Elin
(position at 1200 local time)