Day 35

Lee Price
Tue 1 Jul 2008 17:43
N44.57.25 W017.40.87

Wind F4-7 Heading 40-80 deg.

Continued running with just the main with 3 reefs in all day. The sea was massive, I can't describe it, you get to the top of one of these watery mountains and look back down the valley toward the horizon and it quite takes your breath away.

It's big in a huge swell kind of way, not steep and bosterous like it was yesturday though you do get the odd breaker over the side, one of which broke my dinner and threw me across the cabin. It's been squawlly too and very gusty. Still managing to make 5kts though but a little more easterly to keep the sea on the port quarter.

In the earlier hours the sea was very mixed up and occasionally the boat would flip round the the sail would be backed and then I had to rush out on deck and pull the helm hard over to help the Hydrovane get it all back.

At 10am I checked the milage for the past 24hrs, 139nm, two miles off my best so far, did make me chuckle cause 6hrs of that I had no sails up!

Things are moderating a little now, so I hope I can get some headsail out and turn a bit more beam onto the wind and resume a direct course. I'm tierd, was up at 0430 again having not got my first nap in till 0000. I don't know what I'm getting but it's not a lot. The gusty conditions mean I'm over or under canvased and making a heading anywhere between 40 and 90deg and the Hydrovane can't cope with that so I can't leave it alone to long. But I got a couple of naps in today, so not feeling really all that bad. I've had a 'Funk' day today too, so been groovin on out to the Jazz Flute.

It's cold aswell and the squawly rain is like ice. But I have to say, I'm happy enough, I know it's about as far from ideal sailing as you can get but at least I'm finally making progress, at least I'm sailing, not just flopping along with the motor running scrapping 80miles a day. Thats not to say I like gales, god knows if I never encountered one again I'd be pleased as punch, but I am getting there and I'm about as far removed from Bored as you could possibly imagine.

Just heard half a conversation on the VHF emergency channel, 'Rescue 51' was calling 'OmegaPrincess' from what I could gather, rescue 51 was a helicopter (thats why I could hear it) and omega princess was some kind of comercial ship (I couldn't hear that). They had come to the aid of a solo yachtsman who was, for what ever reason, abandoning ship. Can't say for certain but it felt like they where north of here and the radio operator of rescue 51 was slightly Scotish, thought I doubt it could be to far away even if they where in a chopper. Hope they've skuttled his yacht, don't want to come across that in the next day or two. Seems Omega got there first so they took the skipper on board and Rescue 51 stood 60nm off till all was well, then 'returning to base' very cool though I'd like to know what the problem was as the 'survivor' was quite OK apparently.

Thats me, rockin and a rollin but ok.