51:54.9N 18:28.1W

Sula Sula III
Sun 16 Jul 2023 11:57
14:00hrs 15/07. A large pod of dolphins just crossed in front of us. They didn't stop for a play..... Clearly having too much fun in the waves. They seemed to swim up to the top of the biggest wave then out of the back into free fall to the bottom. They all seemed to be in search of "big air". Certainly looked spectacular...pity they didn't stick around for a show.
The seas may well have some 3.5m waves in amongst them, very difficult to tell as I am never sure when half way up has been reached. Certainly when I am looking up from the bottom of a trough, there looks like more than 20ft to the top of the next one. Still plenty of wind, in the lulls speed drops to under 6 knots but I'm not giving her any more sail until the gusts drop below 27.
16.00hrs. been busy.... There is a blue hole developing in front of us now (apparently) but that might all change of course. I am going to make a bit more South than the models suggest, just to see if I can skirt underneath it. Had to set up the preventer which meant a trip to the bow (very wet) as even at 125° to the wind, one of these big waves could spin us into a gybe...... Unlikely I know but bad news if it happened in a big gust?
Looks like arrival has moved to Thursday now.
17.15hrs. That was lucky!! Went to let a little main out, so hove to and as I go through the wind I am pulling in mainsheet.... And it all goes slack. The shackle holding the lower block to the track had come undone! Luckily I had only loosened the preventer so that held the boom in place. Could have been very messy if that had come adrift in 30+ knots on a screaming broad reech.😨 I have tightened it with a shackle pin but will cable tie it when it all calms down a bit.
The ramblings have got a bit boaty..... But that is only because that is all I am thinking about ATM....I am sorry for the sparsity of unrelated nonsense, I will try and rectify as the wind dies down a bit (see chart below)
05:00. 16/07. Wind not dropping as much as they predicted. In the 5 hrs from midnight we have averaged 7 knots according to the plotter, but Augustnot wanders a fair bit so will have to see how that translates at midday. A vessel has appeared on AIS; similar course to ours....might actually see this one in a few hours.
12.00hrs. Hoover out this morning.....I can hear Tim Smee saying "standards dear boy....standards" and of course he is right; everything needs to be ship-shape. Of course the big tidy up was to delay a fairly significant decision. The models are split on the best way to go to beat the developing hole. Most have gybed and are heading South East, but while I am on the making gybe (I am making between 80° and 90°) I am loath to make that move. Will have to see how it all pans out. I could always call in somewhere in the South West of Ireland.... Now that I know charts are not essential to make a landfall?😉

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