An Eventful Day!

Flyer of Lorne
Dave Sturrock
Thu 13 Nov 2008 11:46
36:42.64N 0:43.88E
Wed 12 November, Days run 163NM
The wind gods must have heard our complaints from onboard Flyer that the winds had been too light and we were running low on diesel. From around 09:00hrs we received a strong blast of F6 from the WSW which unhelpfully for our progress was bang on the nose ( dead ahead) once again.We were just about abeam of Algiers at the time and around 20NM offshore. We put 2 reefs in the main and furled the Genoa down to NO. 2 size and proceeded to crash into the approaching seas. The seas were confused and larger than expected which really hampered our progress. It also seemed more like we were in a gale although we were not. We did not seem to be able to get clear to windward of Algiers by much. Although the log shows a much better  day in terms of miles they were not all in the right direction. Then suddenly around 00:30 the wind freed off to the NE allowing us tgo reach at 7knots directly towards Gibralter. Unfortunately we also found ourselves directly under a rapidly forming electrical storm. This was much larger than those encounterd off Tunisia and although the radar helped identify the size  ( about 8NM wide) and direction of travel we could not move quickly enough to escape it's clutches.I had just come on deck to start my watch and was startled to see forkedl ightning within 1 NM striking the sea. The weather had also turned much colder and there was a torrwntial downpour ongoing, it felt like we could  be nearly back in Scottish waters!  By keeping the centre of the storm just to the North we were able to pass through unscathed, only to be met by another severe bout of lightning ahead and to the South. I decided just to hold our course of due West and make best speed  of 7-8 knots. Fortunately by around 02:30 the skies cleared and we had nearly a full moon lighting up the seas. Again I feel we were very fortunate as it is impossible to predict exactly where lighting strikes may come from and tghe fact we have a 65' mast put us firmly in the firing line. Flyer had been taking a bit of a pounding as she was slamming into the Westerly swell that was still running, we had a lot of leaks into the main cabin from the electrical conduit through the deck which requires re-sealing. The laptop was out of bounds in these conditions especially as I was in full oilies for the first tiime in an age, therefore the blog update is a little later than scheduled. The current forecast is giving N or NW F3-4 which will help our progress greatly, we currently have 300NM to run towards Gibralter. We are looking forward to a run ashore and stocking up on the all important food reserves, we had allowed for going non stop from Malta so I am pleased to stay we are still well fed. Although conditions onboard last night meant a quick meal of hotdogs was the best option.