As days go a curate's egg with some memorable highlights

Position           42:36.64N 070:39.34W

Date                1000 – Wednesday 27 July 2011 (UTC -4)

 

We arrived back in Gloucester at 0300 this morning (Wednesday).  We set off later in the day on Tuesday than we should have done for the trip as the original intention was to do a much shorter trip.  As the wind was in the correct direction it seemed a shame to miss it and we plotted an intermediate destination at 50 miles.

 

 

En route we encountered Valsheeda under Spinnaker, at a distance.  The weather was thickening somewhat ominously but it was a splendid sight.

 

 

 

We had been watching the developing weather off to leeward and listening in to the NOAA weather warnings.  Curiously the thunderstorms were marching eastwards whilst we were sailing on a south easterly wind.

 

This is not a happy sky.

 

 

Sure enough the forecast 60 knot plus wind and hail arrived in a rush.  Thank you Mr Amel for roller furling on everything, enabling us to get everything safely furled away as the wind rose.  10 minutes of winds of over 60 knots with a wind veer of over 90 degrees and torrential rain is an interesting experience.  We are not sure of the maximum wind speed as our windometer runs out of imagination at 50 knots but it was hard on the stops for over ten minutes which must be at least 60 knots.

 

It is interesting to reflect that this wind speed is the highest that we have experienced at sea in the thirteen months that we have been travelling.

 

The interim stop at 50nm in the aftermath of the storm looked very uninviting and as the wind after the shift was fair but on the opposite tack we decided to press on fortified by an excellent curry from the freezer.

 

As it was we were able to sail 90% of the 105 mile journey which in this part of the world in summer is regarded as good.

 

Creeping in to Gloucester in the dark was not too bad and we found a 'free' mooring to highjack until the morning when we were able to anchor in the middle of the harbour once again.  We may take off to Salem and Marblehead before returning here for lift out and off next week.

 

We have now hit 10,025 miles since leaving home – yet another excuse to break out the rum ration.