Saturday, 27th February, 2016

Luna Quest
W. Eric Faber
Sat 27 Feb 2016 15:17
Noon Position: 01.57N 44.21W

Daily run: 137 logged miles

Yesterday marked our half way point to Grenada and having taken stock of our water supply, we lavished ourselves with hot fresh water in the cockpit to wash our hair. Mother nature must have taken pity on our water restrictive discipline as the first of a family of squalls came along that gave us a double shower. More squalls followed in the afternoon with fickle winds and much rain, but we were in for a surprise as the family visitation was followed by a daddy squall. It arrived at about supper time with hard lashing rain and high winds from the Southeast. The sky was pitch black and we must have been right in the middle of it as, suddenly, lightning flashed quite close. Then another flash, even closer. We buried as much of our electronic equipment as we could in the oven (faraday principle) to save it from ruination if we were unlucky enough to be struck. Then a third lightning bolt hit the water, which felt as though it had just missed Luna Quest. I cannot say I was very relaxed about the situation, but Julia did not seem to worry. She had experienced it before coming into Richard’s Bay in Africa when I had been fast asleep.

The genoa had already been rolled up earlier and the engine had been on and off for much of the time during the visitation. With engine running at low revs and with just the double reefed mainsail out, the autopilot kept Luna Quest beautifully on course. All the windows and hatches were shut while the rain did its best to drown Luna Quest. There seemed to be no end to the daddy squall, but by 10.30pm the family had gone and left us in a lumpy sea and a tentative northeast trade wind. It soon picked up to a moderate breeze enabling the sails to fill and the engine to be turned off. We left the autopilot engaged and as we were making good speed, the water-towed generator aided by the wind generator kept up with the autopilot’s power consumption.

This morning the trade winds have been with us steadily and we are making good progress. Let us hope the squalls do not return in the afternoon or this evening.