Blog 28. Slow and at Sea. 09.32.47S 130.52.09W

David Batten
Wed 16 Mar 2016 20:10
Tuesday, 15/03/16. Ship's Boy deserves a medal for repairing the mast end of the stack pack while we roll around in big seas with too little wind. A day of testing patience and perseverance, with very difficult conditions and no excitements like catching a fish or seeing Whales or Dolphins. Still, the cooks are continuing to do a grand job and the 6 o'clocks social half hour is becoming more alcoholic on the grounds that maintaining sanity is a priority.

Wednesday, 16/03/16. A day to celebrate, having reached the 500nm to go this morning, but our progress is painfully slow, with the wind still in the east or even ENE and dropping to 8 knots at times. Light airs dead down wind, what a b........ Alcedo is doing her best, but there is nothing in her sail wardrobe for these conditions and even when we do build up speed, the seas roll her around and empty the sails of wind. Then they fill again with a bang and the whole boat shudders, causing an instant rise in blood pressure for the person on the helm. In order to minimise such events, we are steering south of our course, so effectively tacking downwind, which will increase our distance to go. Hey ho.

Looking on the bright side, not always easy at the moment, we have not yet had the squalls at night that Spirit reported and we have 4 people to take turns on the helm, as the auto helm cannot begin to cope with steering in these conditions. We notice that Two Fish and Heidi 2 are still making excellent progress, better than any of the others, wonder what their secret is?

So today we will celebrate and hope for better winds, Toad usually manages something on her watch, while Jane and the Skipper's wife endure the worst of the lulls with gnashing of teeth and singing or swearing. Anthony is the soul of patience as we try to help him keep the boat going with tiresome comments like "just give her a nudge up into the wind", without being able to specify exactly what we mean by a nudge. It is so much by feel and a check on horizon, wind indicator, compass and sails on a yacht that is really over sensitive for such sailing, quite exhausting just thinking about it!!!

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