38:23.22N 037:24.40W Sunday 26th April 1300

Excellence of Dart
Peter Coxon
Sun 26 Apr 2015 16:23

Wow, that was quite a night and morning combined

We started the night well enough with the skip’s signature dish of thai chicken stir fry and at 9pm I settled in the cockpit to rest while I could. Anika did the 9-12 watch which went ok and Tony stood the 12-3am. The wind kept rising as forecast and we kept reefing down. Triple reefs by 3am with a SE F 6-7. Then he timed is well as he went to sleep in the saloon in time for the storm to hit us. For the first time ever we were reefed down to 5 reefs ie 2 x pocket handerchiefs lashed down in a F8 gusting 9 as we beat to windward at 5-6K. At its worst we could only make a course 90 degrees from the wind and maintain progress. In the end we motor sailed to keep some momentum over the breaking crests. The good Dr had doubled up as cameraman but did not surface till 1230 when the storm had abated so no evidence of the size of the waves, but they were this big (                      )

We are sailing steadily again now but with the remnants  of the sea still throwing us about a bit

We are awaiting the wind to veer all the way to NW and then push us along with 18K of wind – we are now contemplating sailing into Flores, which is the furthest west and north of the Azores. If we do stop there we should be there for Tuesday and complete the leg to St Miguel on Wed and Thurs in time for a day ashore for the crew

May be I’ll have a little quiet time for a while now

All is well

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