Sailing around the World

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Tue 15 Mar 2011 23:00
MONDAY   14th  MARCH  2011
01.13,22 hrs   We crossed the Equator,
The weather was misearble, and we had on all the foul weather gear. We are now 285 miles east of the Amazon River.
We had head winds for a while during the day, then going SW, then W, then NW, then N  and finally settled into the NE.
We had a tough day, but then, so did the rest of the fleet,
During early afternoon, it started to rain, well, it just came down and down, for hours on end, we had torrential rain,
but so did everyone else, as they said, we all had soggy arses, rain, Rain Rain,,  ohhhhhh,
By 6pm, we had a strong NE wind, like 28 / 30 knots, but worse to come,
We were sailing on a Stb, beam reach , with 3 reefs in the Mainsail, the Genny almost totally rolled up and the wind
just got stronger and stronger, by midnight, the wind was a steady 36 / 40 knots and gusting up to 48knots,
and the seas were building steadily to match the situation.
Poor Suzanna was not feeling the best, Skipper remained on deck for the night, and the "first mate" Aileen checked him every so often,
just making sure that he had not gone swimming with the sharks.
The rain was horizontal and the wind was screeming through the rigging, even the zip fastners on the sun awning were rattling so much
that they all had to be tied up together.
The stitches in the spray hood finally gave way, and a huge hole opened up , allowing all that fresh rain into the cockpit.
as if we were not wet enough, not to mention the leaking windows in the Saloon down below.  
Skipper eventually managed a hot shower, clean dry clothes, and back into a dry set of oilskins, before venturing out into the
black wet, windy night again,
Bloody water !
12.00hrs  we had covered 714 n miles, and had 1,368 n miles to Granada.
The wind kept up all night, the only advantage was the progress we were making.
By daybreak, the weather was now visable and the sea state was very angry, waves consistanly breaking over the stb side,
replacing the rain and making sure we would remain wet, WET, and WETTER still.
Things were soooo rough that even Skipper had to take the Tablets.  just to make sure nothing would go wrong.
The clouds were scurrying across the sky,  dumping their cold drops of liquid on top of us every so often.
09.00hrs,  Radio Net, This was interesting, everyone had a lot of wind and rain, although not as soon as us, and nowhere as strong .
We just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,  but we survived,
Skipper took a quick nap at 10.30hrs, but did not wake up untill 14,30hrs, and it was great.
we then set up a goose wing arrangment and off we went into the sun set, ( but no sun )
We checked all the bilge pumps, the fuel lines, the rigging, and all other critical elements for the survival of the boat.
The latest weather information is this will continue for a few days,  which is good, other wise we were going to run short of fuel
because of all the motoring we had to do in the first few days.
As they say, every cloud has a silver lining. good progress is our silver lining.
Thats all for today. 
Signed :-  Stephen Hyde  ( skipper )