A "Sporty" Sail

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Fri 1 Nov 2013 09:56
Friday morning and as I write at 9.30 UTC the log is reading 426 miles run from Ayemonte.  Another 160 miles to go.  So it will be a very fast passage: 4 nights at sea with arrival mid-morning on day 5. 
The wind has been strong over the past 24 hours (predicted) and remains strong (not predicted.)  From mid-afternoon on Thursday it was blowing a steady 25-30 knots: we were surfing down the waves and charging along at an average speed of 6.5 - 7 knots.  To make the passage more comfortable we reduced sail with 2 reefs in the mailsail and a postage stamp jib; but in the early hours even that was too great and the jib was fully furled.  I would have liked to have taken in the third reef but Roger wasn't keen. As we approach the islands the depths change significantly - from the sea bed contours one can see where there are underwater mountain peaks that don't yet break the surface.  Both adverse current and the bumpy sea bed add to the confusion of the sea.
Seas like this find every stowage weakness and everything not fixed in place rolls about including us!  Most of the time you can predict the lurch and brace - but not always!  I was caught unawares and fell hard down the steps towards the stern.  The bruises will be mega, I  fear.  We're identifying a need to change stowage arrangements to minimise disruption when we are 4 aboard, and will experiment over the next couple of weeks.
All being well the next post will be from Lanzarote!