Wall Of White

Mon 7 Feb 2011 23:17
14:44n 61:11w

The alarm went of at 4.30, but we were awake already because of the heavy rain. A jumped out of bed, made coffee, prepared for departure and waited for the rain to stop. At that moment, he would get G to get up the anchor, as A did not dare to that alone, as we were close to shore. We'd assumed we needed 12 hours if the wind was good to reach Guadeloupe before sunset, forecast read e5.

A good hour later we left, finally it was dry and we could see something. G went back to bed and A tried to motor sail smoothly towards Dominica, rethinking st pierre. Always nice to know that we slept underneath a volcano which erupted in 1902 and killed everyone in st pierre except one guy who was in prison...

Anyways, two hours later we found ourselves with lots of rain and wind (>35knots) and with just a reefed jib out we motored to dominica, big waves and a rough session. Actually A wanted to bypass Dominica and directly to Guadeloupe. This seemed doable, seeing that we clocked on average more than 6.5 knots, so we kept going in the leeward side of dominica. After a few hours, we cleared the northwest coast of Doninica and aimed for Guadeloupe.

Jib fully out, about 25 knots steady wind, with gusts to 30, and some big waves. But, an hour further, the waves became ginormous, scary to be precise. Similar size as during rough weather during the ARC, but this time the waves came from the side.

A was steering from inside because of the amount of spray water being blown of the sea as the wind increased. G went back to bed as she had the best "grip" lying in bed in our heavily moving, rolling, stamping ship. A short time later, an enormous wave just broke against the boat from aside, and everything was white. The boat went almost sideways and the amount of water coming over the boat stopped it completely. In seconds G showed up asking what we had hit. Nothing but a Wall Of White choppy slamming water. This turned out just the beginning. In total the boat was "attacked" ten times, the last one with a Wall Of Blue". Ask G about my face when I saw it coming....

After all, we anchored just before 5pm, having clocked 75 miles in about 11 hours.