Lightning and Squalls 16:16.3N 056:047.6W

Fri 16 Dec 2011 13:03
First of all, apologies to Huw, Gareths brother, for calling him Hugh. I should know better than to spell it the English way as really I am a surrogate Welshman thanks to your family. Anyway, that over with, about an hour after I left you last time the weather changed. I wish we had a before and after photo as it was crazy but head of photography (Dickon) was doing his nails. Within about thirty seconds of Gareth saying 'There is some weather coming' the squall hit us. It went from being a bright sunny day to visibility of a few hundred metres, high waves that looked so sinister because the surface water was being blown along by the force of the wind which was about 35-40 knots. Storm force 8! It is a surreal experience because it was over in about 10 minutes and then it is all good again. We have been lucky with squalls and this is only our second one but as long as you are prepared and reef the main sail and furl in the genoa you just ride them out. All good.
We have the advantage of radar on this mission and it is worth it is a slice of fried gold. It will pick up squalls, weather patterns, even large rogue waves and it really came into it's own that night when lightning was all around. Huge sheet lightning everywhere. We managed to navigate our way through these squalls with the use of radar and feel quite safe in the knowledge that it does exactly what it says on the tin. It was pretty hairy though, even if boats do have lightning conductors on them. If lightning struck us it would blow all the electrics and some.
Anyway we came through it and we are 280 miles away and the wind is perfect for the next 72 hours. We should be there in 45. Excited.....mmmm.
Out x
P.S apologies to Georges mum for the swearing, but I'm afraid I do swear and sometimes it is the only way to express something properly. It's something I am working on, but I make no promises! If you noticed there is not one swear word in this .