Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Sun 17 Jun 2012 17:07
Winds have increased to mostly 14-18kn, and still headwinds. GRIB data seems to be being referred to now so winds are blowing exactly as forecast.
Not particularly gentlemanly this trip with 1000+ miles upwind, but at least we don't tack too often, but definately not the funest way to use Trade Winds!
There is a regular diurnal wind shift of about 20 deg which, now that we have the oscillation timed, is being used to good advantage and allowing us to time our tacks (2 per 24hrs) and improve our beating angles.
Middle of last night we tacked in close to the E side of the Sunda Straight (between Sumatra and Java - the home of the active volcano Krakatoa) and was plunged into a very strong band of wind steady at 18-20kn. The seas also picked up and became more confused. We charged along with geny and mizzen and main with 1 reef. Around 1am the jib sheet exploded (18mm braided poly!). After furling the wildy flogging rag with difficulty (because the furling line also broke so had to be patched on the foredeck and re-routed to a winch in the cockpit), we calmed down somewhat and sailed the remainder of the night with just the mains. Not bad considering both are not at their peak and neither are they upwind sails, yet we managed an apparent angle approaching 50 deg and speeds averaging 4-5kn. Certainly the ride more comfortable as we no longer doing speeds that try to launch a 40 ton brick into space off every wave.
This morning set the No 1 staysail, Which is a quite nice and still new, buff coloured yankee cut jib. Being new it's still very flat and is performing well giving us a much higher sailing angle than with the geny, and only a knot or so slower. VMG probably similar and the ride far more comfortable as still not doing the warp speeds that we were with the geny.
Expecting similar winds for next three days, so yankee staysail, reefed main and full mizzen are a comfortable and efficient combination for these conditions.