On the way to Mo'Bay - Twin Head Sails and Sailing the angles

Lilli Mae
Fri 3 Mar 2023 05:38
Hi Everyone,

All is well on the good ship Lilli Mae. Over the past 12 hours we have been speeding along at between 7-9 knots with our twin headsail configuration. The wind has around 21 knots and the sea state has been between moderate and rough (rough is between 2.5 and 4 metre swells) but more often rough. Our heading WNW at the moment and we are about 60 nm from our next waypoint which marks the 50 nm closest point of approach to Haiti.

We took a picture of the sail configurations and the instruments so that you can get a feel for what we are working with; that is the moon in the top right hand corner (not one of our navigation lights!)

The snapshot is from the cockpit; the starboard (right) sail is supported by the pole and the port (left) sail is supported by the boom. It is quite a complex set-up and it took all 4 of us almost 90 minutes yesterday to get it set up.


The picture on the left above is an image of the electronic chart and GPS system we are working with. The boat icon is Lilli Mae and it shows the land mass of Haiti and Dominican Republic on the right hand side of the screen. You will be able to see the waypoint that marks our passage plans closest point to Haiti; it is shown by the little square with a boat inside directly ahead of the Lilli Mae icon. The thing that is most interesting to note is the yellow arrow pointing at Lilli Mae. This is a representation of the wind direction. You can see that it is almost directly in line with our heading. The twin headsail set-up is what enables us to do this. Sailing an almost 180 deg apparent wind angle (AWA) is quite difficult particularly in strong wind, rough seas at night; with most other sail configurations the AWA you can get safely is between 150 and 160. The picture on the right shows more of the numbers relating the wind angles, wind speed and Lilli Mae’s speed.

Anyway that’s enough of the technical stuff.

We didn’t quite get to the baking yesterday but will definitely have a go today. We had a few issues that we are still trying to resolve which we will tell you about when we have landed. We have got about 185 nm to Port Antonio; Mo’Bay is only another 90 nm beyond Port Antonio. You can imagine that we are looking forward to getting there. We have sailed over 400nm so far in the last 63 hours. 

We will probably have our “Land Ahoy” moment sometime today (Friday 3rd March); maybe we will celebrate with a bit of madeira cake and a cup of tea!
Anyway that is it for now.

Will keep you posted.
All the best from the crew aboard Lilli Mae.

email: illi_mae {CHANGE TO AT} mailasail {DOT} com
blog: http://blog.mailasail.com/lilli_mae
tracker: https://share.garmin.com/LilliMae