Sunday, December 1, 2013

Day 3 - Serene to Stormy

Sunday began with a lovely sunrise, blue skies and beautiful beam reaching with 8-10 Knots from the northeast. We even managed to sit in the cockpit for a bucket bath! But, it was not to last. Puffy white clouds dotting the blue sky disappeared and were replaced by a sullen grey cloak and drizzle misted the decks. We watched an old Al Pacino and Robert de Niro movie, "Heat", while the computer could still balance on the dining table and then cooked a large pot of vegetarian chilli.

By mid-afternoon the winds were up to 20 Knots and we had a second reef in the main. The sea had become rougher and Ladybug was bouncing along merrily at 6.5-7 Knots. At 6pm we were in the middle of squally winds gusting over 30 Knots, so we put in the 3rd reef, and furled in most of the jib. The windvane was having issues with the short sharp high swells, so an hour later, we furled in the jib altogether and hoisted the staysail. Chris went out in his undies, a rain jacket and harness as the conditions were very rough with green water washing over the bow constantly.

At night we downloaded another GRIB weather forecast and looked at various scenarios to avoid being stuck in the low. Should we heave-to by pointing NW or East, slow down or run with it? In the end, we decided to run with it as we were going in the right direction. We beared off by a few degrees to avoid being tossed around so much.

At 10 pm, the alarm on the AIS went off. A motor vessel was approaching on a reciprocal course and would pass within 5 miles of us. It was 8 miles away and we could not see it visually. We watched its progress on the small VHF radio screen and were happy to see its lights as it passed us at 5 miles.

At 0320 we heard the staysail flapping. The steering line had broken on the windvane, due to chafing, and the boat had turned into the wind. Using the autopilot temporarily, Chris used the swim ladder hoist line to repair the break and soon had the windvane back in action. Back to the warmth of the cabin!

Our position at 0700 NZ time, 1800 GMT was 27 36 S and 169 35 E with a total 151 NM sailed over 24 hours, 148 NM made good.

1 comment:

Ann Adams said...

Doesn't sound like a lot of fun but you are making some good mileage! We are still watching and cheering you on!