High Seas (but not that high)

Tue 24 Nov 2020 09:27
26:45N 20:21W at 0720 GMT 24th Nov, course 265 degrees direct at Martinique, speed over 8 knots at the moment,kinda wallowing at 7 and sometimes surfing up to 14 so far. 1-2m swell from behind, wind 15-20 from just south of East. Sunny but cool yesterday, today looks grey at daybreak but there's no rain yet.

The Parasailor (vented spinnaker, kinda designed for this downwind westbound transat passage really) drags us west and gives lift too. I fly no other sails at the same time as Parasailor, and unless it's very gentle wind I fly it symmetrically, a big high triangle off bow rollers at the very tip of each hull. It's good for wind angles 150-180 like this (ie from wind coming dead astern to a bit either side) and up to at least 30knots. On a previous boat the (smaller) Parasailor was up in over 40knots so I think we'll hang with this for the time being, and it could easily run the whole way. The boat is fine but kinda lumbering/wallowing at 8-10 knots, more fizzing at 12+.

Great day yesterday as the battery charging seems to have improved mostly all on its own and announced full batteries, which means all fine for watermaking etc. I also had some proper sleep 5 hours this morning. There's a leaky escape hatch, and I'm plotting various cures but don't much want to open the thing - I might jam in extra wedges to force it more closed, and/or user some special non-setting waterleak-fixing gloop which I couldn't resist at yet another boat-bits buying frenzy, probably in Rolnautic.

Crew all fine enough - Aixa has had no seasickness and the others seem to be coming through theirs - Jess couldn't much function yesterday but with full sleep overnight she should be better. Edit: 0815 Jess is awake and Officially Completely Fine.

We'll check the lines for chaefing today, perhaps pull the sail down to check the spinny line at the top, too. On a previous smaller catamaran I fitted a k-hook so no chafing of the spinnaker line holding the top of the sail - a special mechanism holds the top of the sail with one remote-action click to attach, one click to detach. The disadvantage is that the mounting of the k-hook to the mast can fail and it did this several times until I had them make a "collar" to screw in around the mast, but steel-strong Dyneema soft shackle rope wrapped around the mast oughta work too? The other disadvantage is that a k-hook costs about four flippin thousand quid, but they say the reason for thast is that it's made from very strong and hence very expensive materials, Sir.

Simon say the forecast is for 30knots and 3metre seas (measured from crest to trough, ish) later tomorrow, which should be a bit more exciting. But although the wind might be 30knots if standing still, we'll "see" only 20 knots as the boat will be moving at over 10knots away from that wind, hence reducing the apparent wind. And I could run the motors a bit to reduce the apparent wind further, or to get the sail down. As long as the seas remain low enough to not bury the bows it should be fine, and we've loaded the boat aft for that reason - let the bows bounce back up ASAP, hence just empty bags and boxes in the forward compartments. I was explaining this to Jess in the cockpit, who asked So how big are these seas currently, at the moment? and I say Well they're about two metres. Jess asks ... so 30 metre sea will be like what? Er, no Jess, it's gonna be just 3 metre sea, not 30 metres for crissakes. It's thirty knots of wind, only 3 metres of sea. She didn't sound too bothered about it though, although she says well neither did you Matthew. Yes but, Oh whatever.

0830 Sunny and clear, slightly hazy, not grey at all.

0905 finally worked out why it wouldn't let me send this blog email - no address entered duh

0915 satphone not connecting to computer so turn it on and off a bit...

0925 low satphone signal strength so waiting for a satliite to come round or something...

Mojo blog is near blog.mailasail.com/catmojo