Indian Ocean Leg 2 Day Four 13 42.104S 086 58.112E

Mike and Liz Downing
Mon 30 Sep 2013 09:58
A good noon-to-noon run of 151.2 miles, but it's been a testing night and day so far. Winds are south southeast 20 to 25kts, gusting to 30 and have whipped up a nasty breaking and confused sea which we are cutting across. Down to 3 reefs in the main and storm staysail all night and were making 6 to 7 kts, but as the wind and seas increased, rolled the staysail away to slow us down to around 5kts. Last night and overnight we headed west to ease the apparent wind and motion, but with the confused sea state, we had one breaking wave sweep over the cockpit this morning. In seas like this we always have the washboards in and hatch pulled across, so no water went below and it soon drained, but to try and reduce the chances of it happening again, changed course to go more south to show more of the bow to the waves. So we're now heading west southwest, more into the wind and waves, but hope any breaking sea will be across the bow rather than the more vulnerable cockpit. Very glad we put that furling staysail on in Sydney. Had conditions like this in mind when deciding to do it. (It brings the forces much lower to the deck and inboard closer to the mast, reducing heeling and giving a more comfortable ride.) It's also small, so easy to set and roll away. We've been using it most of the day, adjusting the size of the sail to suit the winds and rolling it away when they are at their peak. When down below you would never imagine the state of things outside! The forecast didn't suggest weather like this, but it is sort of what we expected. The Indian Ocean is living up to it's reputation!

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