Day 33 - A Windy Night
Sat 15 Jan 2022 23:03
Course: E Speed: 5 knots
Wind: SW, F4 Sea: moderate
Swell: W, 3 meters
Weather: overcast, cool
Day's Run: 138nm
As per Wayne's detailed tailored forecasts, it got very windy and rather rough last night, so that by 2000 we were down to the staysail and 30% jib. This proved to be quite enough sail to keep Sylph reasonably stable and making good her usual five to six knots. Fortunately the winds didn't get up to gale force (I would estimate force 7 gusting force 8, a 'near gale' by the Beaufort scale) and while the seas became quite large they did not cause me too much concern and I did not feel any need to deploy the drogue. However, we did take one heavy roll during the night, sufficient to put the starboard aft dorade vent under water it would seem, for although it was closed it still leaked quite a few heavy dollops of water onto my bunk before I could get a bucket to drain the excess water off and close it again. I shall apply a bit of silicone to the port so as to prevent a recurrence. The vent is certainly excess to requirements in these latitudes.
We missed last night's radio sked with Wayne and Mark due to a problem with the transmitter. I could hear Wayne but when I went to transmit the "High SWR" warning came on. Clearly the antenna was not tuning correctly. I suspected that some moisture might have gotten into the antenna somewhere with the heavy weather but this morning I was very pleased to find that on inspection of the radio that the plug that leads to the automatic tuning unit had come disconnected. It was a simple matter to reinsert it and the transmitter now appears to be tuning properly. We will find out tonight. Hopefully my absence did not cause Wayne any anxiety, especially as I could not hear Coconut come up either.
This morning the winds have eased to force 4. I have hoisted the mainsail, dropped the staysail and poled the jib out to starboard. While the wind is down to a moderate breeze, the seas are still running quite high so Sylph is rolling and the mainsail is slatting quite badly. Hopefully that will settle as the day progresses, with the seas smoothing out and the wind freshening again.
While we did not receive Wayne's forecast last night, his previous night's forecast has more strong winds for tonight. So likely we will have a repeat performance - further preparation for whatever lies ahead.
All is well.