Atlantic Crossing 23:51.29N 23:40.26W 8th December 2014
Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Mon 8 Dec 2014 18:59
Dear Family and Friends,
It has been a wearing 24 hours, the weather deteriorated yesterday around sundown, the winds strengthened considerable, we reefed our sails and took in the hanked downwind sail. The winds blew at about 22-30 knots until this afternoon for an all to brief respite. With regular gusts of 35-40 knots we sailed through the night a foresail no more than 1.5m at its widest and still managed around 6 knots. Over night to give you not familiar with the sea an idea of what this looks like, the swell was 2-4 m high wall of water that surges up to the boat as you sail downwind, for a moment it looks for all the world as though it will break over the boat and then at the last minute surges underneath carrying the boat forward. This is manageable! However there are waves that come at you obliquely, sometimes sliding underneath with a twisting roll but often raising the boat high on its crest to send it crashing down into the barrel of the trough. Tons of water thump down on the deck, sounding for all the world as though we have hit something.
Moving about the boat is difficult and to be honest to be avoid if possible. Every move is planned and timed and still the erratic motion can catch you out. Had I been out of my clothes since we left port, (barring changing them of course), I might have had time to admire my new colour, black and blue! With watches through the night and the need to be on deck quickly we are always dressed, cant wait to be without!
Alan at the helm, (well autohelm) reports that its started thundering and lightening, sheets of rain and winds up around 30 knots again, don’t imagine we are sunning ourselves here, we haven’t been out of our heaviest ocean cruising gear for days. We are trying to make as much of a southerly course as the winds and waves allow to avoid the worst of this low pressure, hoping for a better day tomorrow. (For Peter and weather forecasting Course around 245T speed 6-7knots, can get gribs not sure the weather we actually have was forecast).
Alan wants to get on the radio so I’ll finish here.
All our best, Lynne Alan and James