Day 13 : 16.29N 46.43W

Elixir - Ovni
Richard Merrick
Sat 5 Dec 2009 10:55
Last night it stormed hard, we found that all four crew were in the cockpit from 1 - 4 am sat right in the middle of a mid Atlantic Thunder storm (Gale 8).
All day T storms were going on around us and we watched them from a distance. It was through the night watch that we saw an enormous dark thunder cloud surround Elixir. We went from having almost no wind at all to having an abundance. As it hit the boat her main sheet jammed and our mainsail was forcing us to round up into the wind.
Once we had resolved the boom issue with Elixir's bow pointing East, she was working hard to keep us pointing there, we found that the conditions were so hard we were only making 1 knot headway but once we got sorted and started heading downwind again we were making 8 knts with only our storm sail.
The rain was immense and all of us got totally drenched but as we had waves and rain hit us in the cockpit it was clear that the sea water was much warmer than the rain and actually quite pleasant when you got drenched by it. With flashes of lightening to add some real atmosphere to the situation, Gin and Tonics were a distant memory.
Elixir and her crew (including George the Autopilot) did great:
  • Elixir made light work of a mid Atlantic muddle
  • George dealt with the helm when it was calm enough for him, but too wet for the rest of the crew
  • Richard conducted the experience excellently
  • Andrew endured three long hours of stormy watch
  • Rich admirably bounced around on the bow taking the main down
  • Gareth helmed when the storm hit and until we got some order
We all agree that we needed a storm to complete the Atlantic tale, but lets hope it's the last one. That said, today we have widespread thunderstorms forecast again and we had a red sky this morning (Sailors warning...allegidly).
Elixir continues to look after us well.