Voyage to Panama, 5,500 miles to go

Wed 20 Apr 2011 20:59
41.31.176s 161.41.156w
Having been becalmed for several days, we then received a forecast for a very big storm due in 5 days time. The eye of the storm alone was 100 miles long, there was no way we could avoid it. We spent the calm day beforehand securing and checking everything on deck before battening down the hatches and waiting for the storm to hit. We had tried to position ourselves to sail south out of the worst area, then back up behind it. The storm changed track and this became impossible. For three days we saw no sky or sun, the waves were 20-30 feet high and the wind howled. Worst of all was the tremendous crashing sound as the occasional breaker struck the side of the hull. The barometer dropped incredibly from 1025 to 994 - a very scary change indeed. Due to the storm track change we sailed through the worst into the eye of the storm. Fortunately the forceast strength of 50 knots had dropped to 35 knots by then. Deep joy descended on the boat when we reached the calm of the eye, despite the still confused seas and a new forecast showed the second half of the storm diminishing. Being becalmed again didn't seem so bad after that. A couple of days good sailing since the storm under our belt and we are hopefully now in a position to ride the high conveyor belt in fair winds.