Indian Ocean Leg 2 Day Eight 16 13.552S 078 32.694E

Mike and Liz Downing
Fri 4 Oct 2013 10:25
The worst night so far - squall after squall after squall, often only 20 minutes apart if that. Winds increased from a base of about 18kts to around 28kt gusting up to 35 and most came with heavy rain. And all in the pitch black of a moonless night. All the wind has built up a big (4.5 metre) rough, churning sea with waves coming with the swell and at angles to it. Studying the sea this morning in the light (it's spectacular to see when the sun is shining on it), we were getting a significant wave under us every 3 seconds, from all directions from south east to south west, as before. As a result the decks have been running with water all night, but we've only had spray in the cockpit (the imaginary helmsman behind the wheel would have got drenched more than once!). Throughout all this it's quite amazing how quiet it is below. Other friends who did this crossing 2 years ago, stood their watches below decks, just popping their heads up every so often to make sure all was well. We haven't done that, but it was very tempting last night! Keeping tight under the sprayhood whoever is on watch stays mostly dry. Throughout the night we've had 3 reefs in the main and the staysail up and been making 6-7kts, but rolled the staysail away during the major squall activity to reduce speed. The noon-to-noon run was only 133.4 miles, partly due to slowing down yesterday afternoon to miss the worst of the strong winds this weekend, and partly due to slowing down in the squalls. Whether or not we have slowed down enough to miss the stronger winds has yet to be determined. We will find out in the next 24 hours! One reason to celebrate - we've completed over a 1000 miles (1,118) and are approaching the halfway point.

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