Wind and Rain

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 5 May 2011 23:02
Noon Position: 18 02.5 S 154 14.1 W
Course: West sou' west, Speed: 6 knots
Wind: South east, F4-6 moderate to strong breeze
Weather: Overcast, rain squalls, warm, seas moderate to rough
Day's run: 140 miles

It has been a while since we have had to deal with these conditions; near continuous heavy rain, strong unstable winds and rough seas. Overnight has not been too bad and this morning conditions eased enough to have me put the mainsail back up with only one reef. But oh silly optimist that I am! An hour later the wind has freshened again and had us careening off to the south at eight plus knots, the wind vane just unable to cope with the mainsail pushing us around to windward. I dropped the main again and rolled up a bit more jib - not an easy job in these conditions, having to ease the sheet enough so I have some hope of hauling in the furling line but not so much as to flog the sail to pieces. And I am starting to worry about the rigging, it is over ten years old, and I no longer have complete faith in it, and a flogging jib puts an enormous load on the forestay. Furling the jib is definitely one of those jobs much better done sooner than later. Unfortunately the wind does not always want to give one a fair warning, and with conditions as they have been, blowing a stink one moment then dropping off light the next, it is a bit of a juggling act to have enough sail up in the lighter airs and not too much in the heavy stuff – basically impossible.

And the rain - everything is now damp. Running down wind when it is raining means as soon as I open the companionway hatch water blows in over everything. The trick is to keep the important things dry, namely the electronics, most of which is not waterproof, even my old faithful Garmin GPS that has served me so well and so long is no longer remotely water resistant since I had to break it apart to repair the battery compartment. I will replace it when I find something suitable. And all my foul weather gear is no longer water tight, the rain was so heavy at one point water just seemed to pour through every seam. Not to worry, it still keeps me warm. I wear light shorts and top and the foul weather gear mainly helps to keep the wind chill factor down so while I am wet at least I am not cold.

And apart from that I think I have managed to spend about 22 hours of the last 24 in my bunk. Bob Cat would have been proud of me.

All is well.