Raining cats and blogs 18:18:20N 28:18:10W

Hamble Warrior
Jamie Hickman
Fri 7 Jan 2022 18:20

Another night of strong winds and big seas. We continued to sail under headsail only and reefed it twice before settling in to our nightly watch routine having seen winds consistently over 25 kts. Through the night the winds stayed around the mid 20s and the sea state remained quite boisterous. Despite the tiny scrap of sail we had out we were still surfing down waves at speeds regularly hitting between 8 and 10kts. In the light of day we discussed what the experience would be like in a lighter weight boat with a fin keel. I wouldn't fancy it; I'm very grateful for Warrior's sturdy keel and I'd take stability over speed when it comes to ocean passages any day (yes of course we can check back to that comment in a couple more weeks!)


It was another night of clattering gear and wailing rigging and even Jamie admitted to hearing the ghostly horses neighing at last!!


In the early hours I was woken by Meep crying - it was that horrible soulful mewing that really pulls at my heartstrings. I freshened the water in his bowl and topped up his food and then set about cleaning his tray; which is another of those particularly tricky tasks to do while being thrown around like a pea in a can.. with the stakes being particularly high when fishing cat poop out of a sand box with a tiny plastic shovel! Once I'd finished and he had everything he needed I gave him some fuss and eventually he settled back down. I think his late night mewing kind of spoke for how we were all feeling at that point!!!


In the morning the winds eased back to the low 20s once again and we set the full headsail and had porridge for breakfast. Everything always feels a bit more manageable in the daylight - when you can see the waves and see around you it is much easier to be positive. I'm pretty sure the porridge cheered us up too!!!


At midday with the winds regularly below 20kts Jamie set our little staysail and with that set on its boom to our portside and the full headsail poled out on the starboard side we sailed "wing-on-wing".


Shortly after this we felt a couple of big heavy raindrops land on deck so we decided it was finally time for a wash!! We had been planning a salt water wash for the last few days but it hasn't been very warm and it didn't seem appealing.. but the opportunity for a fresh water shower was too good to pass up (plus it's been a week so we kind of had to!!!) We stripped off and got as wet as we could in the brief rain shower and then sudded ourselves up with the eco-friendly washing up liquid that we use to wash everything including ourselves and having run out of rain

by this point we used our fresh water spray bottle to rinse ourselves off. It was a pretty chilly affair and a little precarious as we slid around the cockpit still in quite bumpy conditions but it did feel good to be clean again - we both felt better for it.


After our shower we set about making lunch - again the simplest of things can be quite a challenge in these conditions. In this case two rounds of spam and tomatoe sandwiches required both of us and about 30mins of preparation - but they were delicious!


After lunch the wind continued to ease as it had been forecasted to and dropped to between approx. 13 and 18kts. The sea flattened off a little too which made life on board much more comfortable although there are still plenty of "rogue surfers" around to catch us unawares.


Overall I would say things are looking up. The lighter winds look set to stay for the next few days and although that will slow us down we do hope it will also mean a calmer sea state and the prospect of a more comfortable few days and nights.


Our daily run is already down on previous days at 148nm but we expect that to be the case over the next few days and we are fine with that.


All of our fresh provisions are still keeping well although there is talk of Jamie finally trolling his line if conditions are suitable the next few days - Meep and I are extremely excited about this prospect; although ask us again once we've had a 30kilo tuna thrashing around on deck.... all of a sudden it sounds like a ridiculous idea and, afterall, we DO still have plenty of spam left!!! That's about all for now folks. As it is Friday we are planning a special "Atlantic edition" of our weekly ritualistic "Friday Night Works Drinks" tonight. We won't drink alcohol while we are on passage but we thought we might have a "blue beer" or perhaps try a "mocktail" to test out the grenadine and fruit juice ready for the rum punches we plan to have when we arrive in Martinique.. and of course a little music!


Happy Friday everyone!!