The Perfect Storm

Brian Bonniwell and Claudine
Mon 15 Jun 2009 16:28
37:01.86N 3:16.23E
Monday 15th, off Algers and all going well.
Last night Steve (a scholar of that well known culinary establishment - Bettie's of Harrogate) cooked the most fantastic Coq au Vin served with Broccoli and  Mashed potatoes (containing loads of butter). He used 5 saucepans, 4 hobs and the oven, so there must have been something else?  We were tucking in to seconds when very very dark and menacing clouds were observed ahead.  Steve was left to the washing up (on this boat, the cook does his own washing up - you can see why!) and the remaining crew were mustered to reef all sails.  
Forked lightning traversing the night sky before striking the water several miles ahead.  In only a few minutes the wind veered 90 degrees and the temperature of the air rocketed as if blown by a giant hair drier.  The strength increased until Wishanger II was beating into the wind at 8.5 knots with all reefs set.  A steady 36 knots gusting to 41.  This lasted for about 30 minutes before a flat calm, followed by more of the same for another 10 minutes.  After this the wind died down but not without leaving the boats metalwork almost too hot to touch - a bit of an exaggeration, but really hot!
Today there has not been much wind and what there is, is not favourable.  We have been motoring in a sea, initially surfing down waves from the west left over from the nights storm, but now a flat sea with a long swell and an occasional wave which stops the boat.  We have settled into some cleaning and polishing, although it is almost too hot - any excuse!
We are now half way along the Pirate Coast and guess that as we have yet to see any, perhaps they must all take weekends off  ... lets hope today is a bank holiday in Algeria!
Brian, Steve, John and Malc
The Crew, SY   Wishanger II