A Wild Takeoff

Lars Alfredson
Thu 1 Dec 2011 18:47
Pos 51:20.05S 59:28.64W Ship Harbour, Pebble Island

30112011 A Wild Takeoff

The wind is whistling in the rigging and blowing the yacht over despite the shelter of the Jetty. After breakfast and with the weather forecasting gales in the afternoon we decide to make a run for it and out onto the North shore before ducking back into the islands and shelter.

Waves are pounding the windward side of the Jetty and spindrift is sending spumes of water over our deck. Peter is sent ashore to reset the slip lines and release those no longer required. Its wet and cold work on deck and a definite challenge to the furry underwear!

As soon as we slip our mooring we blown straight out into two metre seas hurled down in front of 40kt winds. Even with the engine on full bore we're only making 4kts in headwinds. We slowly make our way to the entrance of the sounds and ducking behind a hill there we find enough respite to set our trysail in place of the main.

It's bit of an experiment as although this sail came with the yacht it's never been used before. Hoisted up the second track on the mast the clew is tied to the end of the boom via a Jammer. Flying loose footed it gives us a smaller sail area at than a second reef in the main can provide. After a few teething problems we turn back into the entrance and the full force of both wind and sea.

The wind is now from the stern and were surfing down steep seas at 10kts and we plough crash down onto we send great waves of spray out from the bow. After exiting Falkland Sound we turn west, ducking back in amongst the islands.

Cutting into Tamar pass we battle a 7kt current and head winds as we grind on at 2kts with engine on full bore we decide to turn into the lea of Pebble Island and into an anchorage on its lee shore.

Looking for spot between the Kelp beds we manoeuvre to a rocky shore under the gaze of Magallenic penguins on the bank above. Although there is still 20+kts of wind the seas have reduced to a ripple and once below with the heater on it's quite cosy.

Peter surpasses himself, producing a roast leg of lamb, gravy and roasties! And I have my mint sauce despite disparaging remarks from the non-believers. Doesn't it make you hanker for the good old days of ships biscuits and weevils?

Bob the Blog