To reef, or not to reef

Thu 29 Oct 2020 07:57

Late yesterday afternoon I noticed the True wind speed gusting over 30 knots in the squalls. Sailing down wind with two headsails poled our one each side (Goose Winged) you don’t notice the wind building and Star Charger can cope with a lot of wind! However the Hydrovane struggles to keep a straight course in such extremes. The solution is to reduce he sail area, reef, but it is only windy in the gusts, so will we slow down too much?
The old adage is if you think reef, you should reef. So I dragged the crew on deck and we reefed both sails. We have averaged 5.5 knots overnight. We might have averaged 6.5 knots without the reef, but everyone managed to sleep!
Now we are bowling along still at about 5.5 knots, the sky is still grey. What has happened to the tropical blue sky? We haven’t seen it since leaving St Helena. Mind the sea temperature is up from 21 to 25C
Under 1,000 miles to where we intend to cross the Equator, then just another 2,000 miles to St Lucia! Today we change Ships Time.
Fair winds