Marcus & Ruth
Wed 7 Nov 2012 20:09
Well what a sail from Alicante! As we left the forecast was great, good wind from the east. Well the wind was good, maybe a little too good, it got stronger and stronger, the sea built and built. At one point we had to round up to set the third reef in around 30 knots, it quickly turned to 40 and one of our large cushions decided to float test it's self, this sucker flew off like a giant grey frisbee and went for miles down wind. We got the reef set and went off in chase of our cushion and an awesome man over board practice. Second attempt and the deserter was accounted for, secured under the table and we were off again in the direction of the straights.
Night followed and the sea state kept getting worse, surfing down waves hitting 15 knots sounds fun but in the middle of the night, deep down wind towards the busiest shipping lanes in the world puts a different slant on things!
We dropped the main all together and ran with a very small reefed stay sail, still cruising at 8.5 knots.
After no sleep for any of us, a terrible sea state, no sign of easing wind and a port engine over heating we decided Gibraltar looked a good option and a safe haven for a couple of nights. In we came and found a fuel dock between the 45 knot squalls, arriving just as the day was breaking.
Horrible journey and some of the worse weather we've ever encountered, at least we were going in the right direction. No real boat damage and everyone is safe. Hopefully the sail south will be less adventurous!!
Bye for now, Marcus, Ruth and Dick.

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