Wild day so far, after a wild night. As soon as it was light enough to see, I had a look around and had a few details to attend to: mainsheet bridle was caught behind the tiller head, the leeward safety bridle was wrapped around the GPS antenna (don’t jibe!), the sail tie on the staysail hanks had gone missing (so the sail was trying to pull itself up), and a sheet bag on the boom for reef lines had blown out dumping the tail of the third reed line and others over the side. I could tell that at least today wasn’t going to be boring.
Right after I got the bridle and safety fixed, I was pummeled by a big breaker knocking me across the cockpit into a leeward winch where I broke my fall with my right elbow. Ouch!! Good thing I was bundled with gear as that helped cushion it a bit. Then I went up to the mast and hurriedly pulled in and coiled up the lines that had gone dragging. Things were now secure and it was back below to clean up. About an hour later, I plotted the latest positions and it was obviously time to jibe as I suspected. It was tempting to avoid the jibe and continue north in search of less wind….but racing is racing so I drained the water ballast to the new side and it was back out for an exciting jibe.
The waves are worse on the new angle and we’ve had a couple of “spin-outs” so I’m not sailing as low (downwind) a course as I could be. Not worth a crash jibe after one of those big breakers hits us….;-) As it was, on one spin out about half of my food containers flipped over dumping their contents all over. It took a while to repack all that (this time the lids are locked!).
We are honkin along, that’s for sure. If the wind angles hold as predicted, I should pass a couple boats. Tiscali has slowed way down. He must be going bare poles and perhaps his main is messed up or he is being extra careful with Bernard’s spare mast! Anyway, in about 6 to 10 hours it should start to let up a little. I just have to get through an area of 40-45 kts and squalls first. Stay tuned.
If you are an adrenaline junkie, this may be just the thing for you!
Bruce on the Ocean Planet