Things that go bump in the night 21:10:60N 24:07:10W
All fine onboard but a bit of a tough 24 hours. The sea state has built over the last couple of days and what we have experienced these last 24 hours is definately the size of waves/swell we would expect here in the Atlantic but a rather "confused" pattern. We have also seen a steady wind increase from low to upper 20's and the result has been a rather uncomfortable sea state. Although we have brief periods of upright gentle undulating we have also had regular periods of more violent rolling and this makes even the simplest of tasks very hard work.
Last night we also had a rather poor run of unfortunate; although not catastrophic, breakages. By daybreak the tally was up to; a chaffed spinnaker halyard, a potentially damaged baton in our mainsail, and a broken shackle on our windpilot lines... all easily repaired or replaced but frustrating nonetheless and all requiring attention. We have certainly reached the stage already where a daily inspection of all running rigging and deck gear is neccessary.
As the sun set last night and the wind increased we tucked an extra reef in both sails. Then before dinner Jamie made the call to bring in the mainsail and after wrestling it down we continued under reefed headsail only through the night which barely effected our speeds and we were still making over 6kts.
I had my worse night's sleep since we set out (I shouldn't have showed off about how well I slept in yesterday's blog hey!!).. Every noise on deck sounded like Jamie either calling out in frustration or struggling with sails or deck gear. Several times I climbed up into the cockpit to check on him and he would be curled up fast asleep with our little egg timer set to the customary 15min intervals to check around. Eventually I tried to block out the sounds but they followed me into my dreams and I had a fitful few hours drifting in and out sleep not really knowing which was sleep and which wakefulness.
When it was my turn on watch I found the noises in the cockpit much less disturbing but still eerily misleading. Despite a sliver of moon we still had a starry sky but the phospherence we'd enjoyed the last few nights was somewhat lost in the frothy white spume that fizzed around us as we ploughed on into the night. Despite the darkness I was aware the sea was building and I could make out the white tops of breaking waves around us and hear the sea snorting and gasping all around like an angry monster. The lines leading between the helm and the wind pilot were squeaking and groaning and every now and again they emitted the weirdest sound which I swear was like a horse neighing. I can easily see how solo sailors report seeing and hearing the oddest things when on board their boats for long periods; the imagination can do crazy things to a tired mind!
This morning we woke to face the steep seas and more rolling. We haven't had too bad a day; we haven't been able to do much other than the essentials but there have been periods that have been more comfortable.
Meep came up to the cockpit in his harness and settled down next to me on the spinnaker bag for a cuddle which we enjoyed for an hour or so this afternoon.
Now we are getting ready to prepare dinner and Jamie has been around the deck inspecting everything to make sure we are set for the night.
We have continued under full headsail only today with the main strapped down on the boom. Despite this we have had another good day's run of just over 163nm (that is a 25 hour day's run because we moved our clocks yesterday).
Now we shall upload this update and download our weather and any news from home before tea.