Wet and Windy!!

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Sat 30 Nov 2013 15:29
Saturday 30 November 2013

Course: 245 
Engine Hrs:  4hrs
Day's Run: 138miles
Total: 906miles
Air Temperature: 24.3C
Water temperature: 28.1C

Well what a 24hrs it has been. It has rained since about 1230ish. Just as Bryan had the leek and potato soup heating up a
squall came through Roger spotting it go up to 31kts! It also swung 180 degrees and heavy rain fell. Bryan, Roger and Margaret got very wet whilst I tended to the soup on the cooker! Once they had reefed the genoa it was all settling down until Roger saw that the Auto Helm was not working. This lead him to dive under the back berth to see what the problem was. The pin and washer holding it together had vanished so he had to put another set in!
This led to a point of the day and probably trip that I would not like to witness again. The vane male members of the crew decided that they were going to make the most of the rain and wash their hair. The female crew stayed down below and averted their gaze!
Margaret felt is was time the full offshore waterproofs to came out of the cupboard, they have had a lot of use since!!
We then had our delayed lunch of soup and toast.
The afternoon consisted of Roger organising some rain water harvesting devices. This led to buckets being hung off some rails and the dinghy was drained of the dirty water and the bung put back back in. You will be pleased to know that the water we collected is low enough in salt to drink, it is even lower than the water maker produces. Our main entertainment for the afternoon consisted of watching the wildlife - lots of fish, about 25-30cm long and silvery, jumping out of the water. We were unsure if they were being hunted by something or thought we were hunting them. The other wildlife was a larger black swift like bird with a wing span approx, 45cm, but with a white tummy not tail! Any ideas please send on a postcard..!!
Roger and myself spent some time organising things before dark. The weather forecast showed that we could be in for a windy night. We reefed the genoa and ensured the decks were clear and that all the ropes / sheets were correct and not tangled. We also made sure that things down below were stowed away to prevent low flying objects during the night.
Whilst Roger was on the early night watch (1900-2300), winds went really light with Roger at about 2100 doing only 1knots!. The calm  before the storm! on Margaret's watch (2300-0300) was generally straightforward apart from a wind shift that meant she needed to put a gybe in. At 5.30 Bryan reported the latest's stats:speed of 8 knots and wind speed 22-24knots!! This lead to Roger jumping out of bed, dressing for the elements and helping Bryan reef. The genoa was first and with to reefs, then Margaret helped put the two reef's in the main. The wind consistently 25 to 30knots.. We have since taken a reef out of the genoa as the wind has dropped slightly. The current statistics are:speed 7.5knots and wind around 24knots. The other thing to mention are the waves and swell. The swell got up to about 2 metres and the waves were choppy and from all angles. This leads to a very bumpy, rocking and rolling ride. The sea sickness tablets have been taken as precaution.. It is also proving very difficult to do the cooking and coffee making. The boys were adamant they wanted proper coffee. So the coffee pot was on the hob and had just performed its trick and it then proceeded to fall over causing the hot coffee to spill everywhere!! The clean up operation took two of us plus a boat hook, to get to the hard to reach places...at least the galley floor has had a wash!! 
Bryan and I are lucky enough to have a little porthole next to our beds. When it is this wavy Bryan keeps asking for his snorkel and I am trying to sell tickets for a glass bottom boat trip!!
To save a bit of energy the people on watch this morning have been steering the boat. This have proved very difficult due to the wind shifts, strength and waves. We have had some almost near misses just avoiding a gybe. Thankfully we have a preventer fitted, to stop the main sail flying across the boat.
The wind is due to start dropping off, fingers crossed. But lunch will be simple, cheese & pickle sandwiches followed by an apple!
Until next time, Lucy (Mum).