DAY 13 ... STILL ONLY HALF WAY TO GIBRALTAR!!!
Thu 15 Jan 2009 13:00
At 1000 local time (1300 gmt) distance run in last 24 hours 145 miles
At last we are moving again ... and now in the right direction!!!!!
Slowly the wind increased and also slowly moved more easterly so we were beginning to go south east ..not good... (we wanted north east) we tacked and the wind kept on slowly changing direction and we could aim directly (but close hauled) for our next imaginary point in the middle of the ocean (I put them there when I have been working out weather patterns so trying to make a course that will keep us in some wind ... preferably in the right direction!!!!!
As the morning wore on just had to slow her down because we were shipping green water regularly the way the seas had built, yet the wind was only 20 to 22 knots... which means I am full time on the helm (still close hauled) So in went the third reef ... that takes the mainsail below the second lot of spreaders so it looks tiny ... mind you I can go down again (4th reef) that I added, so it becomes a storm sail (and dont even have to go out of the cockpit to do it!)
Anyway it did the trick but the snag was we were only doing 4.5 knots ... typical! .... Later on the wind dropped a couple of knots and it made all the difference to the waves ... So I let George (the autohelm) take over again ... and go down below to brew and snack .... George didnt like that .. as soon as my mustos were off he decided to drive through a wave rather than over it .... and I am followed downstairs by 100 galloons of water ... missed me by 6 inches ... but now I have a very wet soggy carpet and my wool beany actually filled and stayed full of water where I had hung it up!!!! lots of salt all over the place!
Got her going steadily on at 7 knots later in the afternoon (with less wind remember!)
It was such a miserable (weather wise) day I kept my Mustos on ALL day plus,gym vest, tee shirt,rugger shirt,woollen lumberjack shirt, bike riding red top .... and I wasn`t hot!!!!! (but cabin temp reading 21 degrees!
As the night got going it was easying off more and slowly becoming a reach so one by one the reefs came out and the Genny unfurled .. and kept her going over 6 knots nicely.
Later I was woken by the radar beeping at me .... it had spotted a ship about 20 miles off, coming straight at me ... before it got here my watchmaker went off so miraculously I just watched as this freighter did a semicircle round me and then disappeared off into the night behind me. Back to sleep again and before my watchmaker woke me again ( every 24 minutes) The radar alarm goes off again ... I cant believe it ... another freighter heading at me .. this one didnt change course but passed about half a mile away ... in daylight I could have waved to them .. at night just navigation lights with a dark shape underneath and the rumble of diesels in the night ..... 2 in an hour ... up to now its been 1 not quite every second day and all daytime! Still it proved all my systems worked and I was upstairs and ready to take avoiding action with loads of time to spare (even though I didnt actually need to).