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Date: 25 Jan 2014 14:14:56
Title: More squalls

Position: 20.20N 39.35W

Daily Run: 122 miles

A ferocious squall with winds up to gale force strength had me up at 4.30am. One of the fore sails seemed to be under severe stress with occasional wild flapping. I had wanted to make some northing in my down-wind course while the wind is easterly, so that if and when the wind backs north easterly I can bear off and carry on using the twin foresails. I use the term twin foresails for convenience only. I have a genoa poled out port (carried on the forestay) and a staysail poled out to starboard (carried hanked on the inner fore stay). To match their sizes, the genoa is rolled up to a size similar to that of the staysail. The winds, however, continue at near gale to gale force strength so that I have now adjusted the Hydrovane to steer the ship dead before the wind to minimise the stress on the sail.

I have not seen a ship since Tenerife and the only sign of life observed so far is one tropic bird, two dead flying fish on deck (on different days) and one flying fish flying!

Just as I am writing this update, I would have been thrown across the saloon, but for the fact that I am sitting at the saloon table itself. A nasty impact on the chest, though! An exceptionally large wave slew Luna Quest off to starboard causing the inner foresail to protest loudly. The Hydrovane clearly could not cope. Having dumped my computer on my bunk, I leaped out into the cockpit, grabbed the tiller and brought Luna Quest back on course again. I hope the winds and the seas will ease.


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