After the initial hick-ups around the wind and the chaotic waves yesterday evening it got better with the hour. Three hours of motorsailing to stabilize the lady and get her from Rock’n Roll to some kind of more harmonic dance like waltz. I found it amazing how often the wave pattern can change on such a passage. From huge wobbling football fields (very pleasant) to significant steep climbs and falls in no time. I have observed changing patterns before wihtout any changes to the wind but on this passage it was special. I wonder, if Hurricane Earl has not contributed to this but also understand, how difficutlt it is for the metereologists to predict waves on the ocean.
Luckily the wind picked up to 15-20kn over night and the wave/swell combination got back to normal. The rest of the night was uneventufull, just clocking miles at good speed and get closer to our destination. I felt it was a bit colder than the nights before and needed an extra layer. Spent a cosy night in the cockpit taking rest getting some sleep. No other ships seen.
Two squalls hit us in the last 12 hours. First one last night, when I was talking to Jan from SY Sutje on the Marine Radio at 8:00 UTC. Our connection yesterday was very good but then it started to shake and I had to take full attention to the boat, Although I was already in reef #2 on the mainsail for the night, I quickly furled in the foresail to reef #1 and we got through the short period of time quite well with only 10-15kn of gusts on top of the 10kn wind we had at that time while motorsailing. It takes about 15min as these squalls move extremely fast. I can see them on the radar coming and also get an indication how much rain they imply. Easy during the day, but bit more difficult during the night and for this the radar is a good helper. It also give you a chance to slow down and let a potential squall pass your courseline ahead of you. Their impact is very local. The second one came this morning and was less significant.
Looking forward to another stop-over in Funchal Madeira.