Shiver me timbers….

Kingfisher 2013
Peter Smith
Sun 15 Dec 2013 14:05
1145 15th December - 11:23N;57:20W - a quick update on a busy night. The strop that we had holding the snatch block on the genoa pole frayed through at around 2230 last night. The bang it made sounded a bit like the pole snapping and because the genoa had backed across to the other side poor old Alex S, who was steering at the time, thought we had lost the whole sail! Having fixed that with a new one (I happened to have made one early, Blue Peter style) Ben took over the watch and woke everyone up with a holler as he clocked 16.4 knots falling off a wave. The whole boat was vibrating and spray shooting up the sides like a roller coaster hitting the watery bit at the theme park. He was rather pleased with himself as he was also steering at the time and has thus claimed the trip speed record by several knots. No-one will beat that (at least I hope not).

A little later though, he was less pleased to get hit by a squall that did not show up on the radar and took the wind speed up from 27 to 45 knots (with sheet rain of course) over a period of about 30 seconds. "All hands on deck" he cried and all hands turned up - except for Tash who slept through the whole night without stirring!!! The rest of us had a cup of tea and waited to see if another one was coming. The next drama was not a squall but a sustained force 7-8 that stayed with us until dawn and is still with us to a certain extent (28-32 knots). We have furled away the genoa for now and are broad reaching under a reefed main and jib heading directly for Grenada and passing Tobago to port . We have about 270nm to run and still expect to be in just before midnight on the 16th. We did make the 210nm run to noon yesterday and we have just logged another 200nm (by the skin of our teeth) at noon today. We had been travelling a bit more slowly in the stronger winds but expect normal service to be resumed shortly. I am expecting it to die down a little this afternoon and allow us to get the genoa out again for a speedy romp home.

All good on board, despite having to close all hatches in the tropical heat to avoid getting swamped by waves which makes it alarmingly hot and sticky down below. Dozing in the cockpit has therefore increased in popularity over the last few hours. I have shed about 5 kilos in sweat making breakfast and bread in the galley (including getting swamped when I foolishly opened a hatch in order to breath!). Looking forward to doing lunch and dinner…….