Bash, crash, wallop 36:08.57N 05:21.8W

Ceilidh of Lorne
Dave Sturrock
Mon 12 Nov 2012 11:37
Apologies to all our blog readers for the break in service, Ceilidh was going head to head with a full on gale yesterday and typing was out of the question as the survival instinct took over.
To summarise the last 48hours:
On Saturday at 16:00 the Genoa snap shackle failed below the top furling attachment meaning we could not hoist any headsail except the storm jib without sending someone aloft. As we were beating into a F6 at the time we decided to put into the nearest harbour which in this case was a small town called Adra to the West of Almeria. There were some new pontoons installed here with only one yacht and a lot of gulls as sitting tenants but we were very glad to berth here. The snap shackle was sized to be rated for around 5 tons of working load and had completely sheared through the main hang off pin. This was replaced after sending Zoe aloft to recover the furling gear and we planned to take advantage of a better forecast by setting sail at 06:00 on Sunday. A couple of beers ashore and a meal onboard let everyone catch up on their sleep.
We set off on Sunday to be met with a F6 NW and soon had 3 reefs in the main and some rolls in the genoa. The skies cleared to give a bright clear but very cold day as the wind increased and gusted up to 32knots pushing Ceilidh to the South of her track. A short steep uncomfortable swell meant full oilies again as heavy spray covered the cockpit. This was the coldest day I have so far experienced in the Med and this was backed up by fresh snow on the Sierra Nevada mountains above 2,000meters overlooking the coast. It was a day for just hanging on grimly although Ceilidh took everything that the wind and sea through at her and kept tracking at 7knots. I slipped from the upwind helming position and luckily sustained bruising to my leg and arm, so even with all the harness and safety equipmemt a slippy deck aat 30 degrees angle is a severe challenge! The wind eventually veered around 22:00hrs to allow us to make our course of 270M. By this time we were in heavy shipping traffic and had to dodge and tack to keep to the North of the West going flow of assorted carriers.
We berthed at Marina Bay Gibraltar at 07:15 this morning having completed 167NM upwind and 469Nm since departing Ibiza. Funnily enough we took almost exactly 48hrs to reach Adra and 24hrs to reach Gibraltar although of course we would have like to do this journey in less time.
So while B&G is still the god of all wind instruments, our GRIB file weather forecating system which had until Sunday had a perfect record has now fallen from grace. There was no mention of 30 knots and the timing of the wind shift was a good deal later too.
On the jobs list this time:
repair port lazyjacks
VHF set’s have lost their power supply
Wash the salt off evrything including our oilies and lifejackets.
We plan to depart Gibraltar having had some rest on Wednesday for the final and hopefully down wind leg to Las Palmas
Dave Sturrock