Hellish Storm Gag backfires

Sun 29 Nov 2020 11:43
20:20N 36:35W at 1100GMT or 1000 boat time Sunday 29th Nov
Speed7-9 knots course 230ish, seas 2metres or so, the halfway wpt is around 8 hours away, Martinique 1430nm distant and we've covered almost 1300nm from Las Palmas.

We dodged a few rain clouds during Jess's watch 7 till 10 yesterday evening, and I thought it a great idea to run the Hellish Storm gag for when Ruth arrived on deck at 10pm. Essentially we'd throw a couple of buckets of water around and mess the place up a bit to make it seem as though we'd just been through a Hellish Storm. Tee hee.

The wind gods clearly didn't much like this idea, and bowled a real squall as I was preparing the fake. There's always a cold low breeze to announce the imminent arrival of a squall a few miles before the hit, and we set ourselves up on windvane autopilot dead downwind, but still flying the big pirate Parasailor vented spinnaker which we put up on Monday morning, designed with precisely this sort of weather in mind.

Ruth arrived on deck in pouring rain and wind to 30 knots, the boat lashing along in fine style still but apparent wind always under 20knots.

The squall passed ahead soon enough. I'd prepared the cockpit with a bit of sweeping-brush applied dishwasher powder for a free cleanup and all was fine. Jess very cool about it all, and went off watch for a snooze. Shortly afterwards Ruth got her own squall, and from 1 till 4am Chipi caught three in a row. They're getting full value on this Transat, definitely. I kept a lookout ahead for other boats perhaps not riding the squalls at 10-18 knots, but maybe they had even more sail up and going even faster.

Calmer but still cloudy this morning. Simon Says the wind go light from Tuesday and it's better more south than north and a "bit of rain". Hm. I count 8 separate rainclouds all jostling around our stern, so one of them is fairly sure to land or come close. But these are just rain, not squalls, so no big winds. Bit like Manchester summer drizzle now, but I've promised genuine tropical weather soon.