Sula Sula III
Fri 14 Jul 2023 12:07
17.00hrs. Took advantage of a bit of a lull to grab a few hours of sleep. Still doing 5.5 knots but are definitely underee canvassed... Not going to change anything as wind will be back up soon. There is a longish swell starting to set in from the North.....
20.00hrs. still only 17 knots... And pretty constant.....OK I gave her a bit more staysail....I have decided I am racing these avatar boats....I am generally ahead of them or at least with them when the Grib gets updated, but right now am dropping behind....There is more blue on the horizon!
I am fascinated by these white and grey Skewa type birds.... They fly round the boat a couple of times and depart, but all effortlessly. Their plumage is similar in colour scheme to the Snowy Owl's summer wear. They appear from nowhere, then disappear into the troughs never to be seen again....they are the ghosts of the waves.
00:00. 14/07. Shortened the staysail again....steady in the 20's now. Sea state getting a bit more form but still bouncy. Averaging 7 knots though and she feels good. Wind should build now til about 6 in the morning.... Don't think I will need to heave too to shorten the main again but will if I have to. Just managed another couple of hours of sleep.... I'm match ready (as you can see from the photo). Oh, and I'm ahead of the virtual boats again.
02:00hrs. One forgets what an effort just moving about the boat becomes in a bit of a blow. I am pretty used to getting from place to place but the random movements at speed have caused a couple of bruisings tonight. Reduced Staysail a bit again... Just to soften the ride.
04.00 just had another couple of hours sleep....woken by a bit of slamming..... Going to shorten sail a bit after my coffee.....the little avatar boats are back in front whilst I have been asleep....They must be cheating!! Both models are showing they will average just over 8 knots for the next six hours or so....I can't get anywhere near that, I can make 7.5 in the gusts but I will settle for high 6s as an average. Mark you are cruising!!
10.00hrs. wind up to 22 + had a play.... She goes OK to windward, but there is still no sea to speak of. Heaves too well; I reduced the main a bit more to keep her less healed and increased the staysail a bit to get the speed back up to 7 knots. Augustnot approves, and she is less bouncy.
Midday again....another good 24 hrs....148 on the chart. A bit disappointed that the latest forecast shows less wind tonight than previously....I would still like to find out how she goes to windward in 30+ knots and a sea....and I would much rather explore Sula's flight envelope out here than on a nasty lee shore? Will have to wait and see what we actually get.
Sailing is not what it was...... All this tech is great, but it has taken much of the uncertainty out of a passage. I can see why modern sailors are happy to have a Catamaran (I met a really nice couple in Grenada who had a Halberg Rassey (sp?) for 8 years and cruised it all around the world but now have a 50' Catamaran as they can wait until the weather is right before a long passage, and they have so much more living space. It will be interesting to see if the disturbed weather patterns that seem to be emerging, will turn sailors back to monohulls. I guess it only needs a small flock of Catamarans to get caught out somewhere to change the trend?