Riders of the Storm!
Friday 24th May
Between 09.00 and 12.00 ships time, the barometer dropped 7mb! An imminent gale warning. We knew that there was bad weather forecast for today, and originally winds of 60 knots which had been downgraded to a mere 45. The wind began increasing and overnight we had gale force winds with a peak of 41 knots. As the wind was from the south west we weren’t crashing into huge waves but some of them did look a bit big behind the boat. By 06.00 Thursday morning the wind had abated and by 11.00 we were having to motor. As we do not want to use all our fuel out here we are very cautious about motoring, so were quite thankful when we had wind again from the west. We decided to just sail on the genoa, and we had a very nice downwind sail for the next 16 hours, then the wind died again. Wind back again after a couple of hours and we are now heading south south east with one reef in the mainsail, full genoa and bowling along at 6kn.
We are heading slightly south to put ourselves in a good position to head into Horta sometime next week.
The night of the gale we all didn’t get much sleep so we spent yesterday relaxing and drying out our very wet clothes as not only was it very windy it was also very wet.
Today we have blue skies with a few clouds and are feeling quite relaxed. Comparing notes with other boats on the SSB net, we heard that the boats further north and further east had the gale force,, and for some storm force winds for much longer than us with very rough seas. Glad we weren’t there....