BVIs to the Azores - Day Fourteen 33 46.314N 042 23.249W

Mike and Liz Downing
Tue 10 Jun 2014 21:42
Overnight the rough sea became a big rough sea and just before dawn a front went through with torrential rain hammering down and winds gusting to 30kts. Not pleasant when it's all in total darkness - the moon had gone below the horizon at that stage, but even if it was up, the cloud was so thick that it wouldn't have got through. We continued under just staysail alone for the next couple of hours making 5 to 6kts until daybreak when the wind started to ease and the sea started to go down. The rise of a big sea is less noticeable when on watch as you get used to it getting bigger bit by bit, but go to sleep with the sea down and get up 3.5 hours later and you really notice the difference. Sticking your head through the main hatch and seeing a mountain of water towering over the stern your natural instinct is to go back to bed! But again, you do get used to it relatively quickly. With the bigger sea we did have to keep the speed down and our noon-to-noon run was 142 miles. Surprisingly the sea did go down quite quickly and within a couple of hours we had both genoas back up, one poled to windward and were making good speed due east. However, it didn't last and the wind dropped down to around 10kts so it's relatively slow going once again.

Made another addition to my scupper repair yesterday and hoped that would do the trick, and luckily it did. With all that rain last night the deck got a good soaking, but that was only a small part of the water it took. In the big sea the boat will roll to leeward as a big wave comes under the quarter, and roll far enough for the leeward rail to go under the wave as it passes under the boat. With a significant, solid toe rail, as the boat comes back up it scoops half the ocean up with it and the water has no where to go other than up and down a couple of inches or more deep along the deck until the two scuppers (we have two on each side) drain it away. So the leaky scupper had to contend with this happening quite a lot last night, so it got a really severe test. And so far, nothing has come through. So the repair was completed just in the nick of time!

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