Quite a night was had out here. Towards dusk last
night the wind started to fade and a bit of drizzle started. I decided to leave
the two headsails out as the boat was carrying good speed despite the light
wind. Well that proved to be a flawed decision. The drizzle started to get
heavier and then it wouldnt stop getting heavier until it was doing a passable
imitation of Niagra falls. Then it was the winds turn and up it came from the SE
(the opposite direction). By now it was more than obvious that the headsails had
to go. It was also obvious I was going to get very wet as the foredeck hand
doesnt have the luxury of a spray dodger to work under. The daisy drifter is
like a small spinnaker but triangular and the boat is not rigged for spinnaker
work solo. The halyards run to the cockpit but thats no good when you need to be
on the foredeck. Memo, install clutches on mast. It wasn't a pretty drop but I
couldn't help but smile when it was stuffed in its bag. The chances of it
wrapping around the mast or other tangles are always there and not worth
thinking about in a squall such as that.
After about 45mins of high excitment and swallowing
gallons of water I got back to the blessed peace and dryness of the cabin
grateful for the lack of sail flapping and other immediate worries.
Sitting on watch for 8 days can be tedious. Its
made especially tedious when, besides the waves and sea life which is wonderful,
there is nothing to stand watch for. I was actually thinking this morning that I
could have set the autopilot, hopped in bed and read a few books for all the
difference that made. I boiled up a coffee this morning, first of the trip, and
while I was at the stove a passenger ship came out of the mist and was
within two miles before alarms etc started. A good wake up call, a headmaster
might call it a salutory reminder. I read somewhere that the bulk of mid sea
collisions are glancing blows, like Jessica Watsons infamous friction off
Queensland before she started. Relatively cold comfort really. I dont like the
idea of being asleep in my bunk and the boat gets hit by a massive tanker.
Glancing blow or not, I don't like it.
It was also great to be finally on port tack. Been
on starboard for the whole trip so far and my bunk is definitely better on port
tack. BTW if anyone is interested, my friend Lief, from la Cruze, reviewed the
boat and he included a layout and pictures of sisterships. That's at
cruisingboatdesigns.blogspot.com and he did it on January 29th. I hope you can
find it there.
Currently moving along at three to four knots over
smooth but very undulating water. The big swells are still there but the surface
chop has all gone leaving this very up and down world as the swells are coming
from different directions. Probably talking too soon but I'm surprised at how
pleasant the temperature is especially with the rain