29:12.7 N 63:58.7 W
Sula Sula III
Fri 16 Jun 2023 21:28
By 22.00 hrs we were feeling pretty good we had dodged a few and there didn't seem to be so much activity sadly that was the calm before the apocryphal storm. Out of nowhere the screen went an ominous colour all around us. The wind died and there was an eerie quiet only punctuated by almost continuous lightening and an occasional clap on every quarter. We were trapped. Just after that screen shot we turned off all the electrics and isolated the batteries, and reduced the sail to 1/3rd main and less than half staysail. The rain came first, and then the wind which fluctuated wildly both directionally and in force.... I had no instruments on but in some of the more extreme down blasts Sula was put on her ears with such ferocity that it it was impossible to bear away from the resultant luff and she would lie on her side with both sails lifting wildly. I am guessing that at its strongest we experienced close to 50 knots; mercifully only for a couple of minutes but the whole ordeal lasted for over an hour. One strike was so close to us the the fork and clap were simultaneous.
With only head torches to see the compass we had chosen to sail just west of south, (against the direction of travel of these brutes) this meant we were pretty much close hauled so I was pretty confident that if I stayed close hauled we would be going in the same direction. Checking the compass at one point I was travelling nearly North on the same point of sail however an hour or so later, west of south could not be achieved without jybing; the wind was literally going round in circles.
I think we were lucky to get away unscathed.
This morning we saw a line of baby CuNims blocking our pathway NorthEast the wind had dropped to about 8 knots so at the speed we were travelling we would probably not have got to them until midday when the sun would have had a chance to grow them considerably. I put on the engine and using the radar found a weak spot and drove through. It was literally like entering another world on the other side; the barometer dropped a couple of points and the air was cooler and we had almost total cloud cover. Second image is a view from the north of the line.
Slow progress for the last couple of days, but we did get to witness the unbelievable power these two fluids can generate at their interface and we both agreed that was worth a lot more than a couple of hundred miles.