Last night was heavy, at least something, I have not experienced before. Under a close hauled sail setting I was constantly getting 25kn of wind, which peaked at 30kn at one point in time. Besides a good reef in the mainsail, the foresail was also reefed to its max and we were still pushing through against the waves, which ended up perhaps around 3-4m. The funny thing is there were stretches, where the waves were moderate around 2m and then we had at the same winds periods with significant higher waves. I guess, this is sailing an ocean, where the waves come from somewhere and the wind from somewhere else and they meet exactly at your place. The predicted winds and waves were lower and in future I will be more concious with a safety margin to be applied.
The water was flying everywhere although I tried to take more and more speed out of the boat while reefing to max extend. It took me a good hour today to remove the majority of the salt from the cockpit to have at least a cosy place to sit. Some items will defintely have go into the washing machine to get rid of the salt again.
My three learnings:
1. The lady loves this type of sailing. Climbing the mountain and sliding down on the other side, again and again. This happens in a very smooth manner. Only sometimes the bang goes through the ship when a wave tries to attack and impress but gets expelled and pushed aside with an arrogant smile from the top. Nice try. Out of my way please.
2. If it get’s rough, better put up the cockpit tent to keep the splashing water and salt out of your living area. I believe it will provide much more comfort against the salty and sticky air drops going everywhere otherwise.
3. Fix the staysail if wind is predicted 20kn and more. Prepare it in the marina, out at sea it will be too late. This is something I have to try next. Expert opinion is that from 25kn onwards the staysail provides additional comfort compared to the foresail especially on clause hauled and close reach sail settings.
At no point in time I felt uncomfortable. It’s the opposite. Impressed, how this lady performs under slightly tougher conditions. Let me quote Rene here, skipper of the HR46 Momentum of Fal: “Our ladies of the sea turn into beasts under these rougher windier conditions. Very impressive.” I totally agree.
I might have to change the subject of the current logblogs. Rather going strainght to Azores a stopover in Funchal comes into play. I have droped the harbourmaster office an e-mail asking for a berth tonight or tomorrow morning but most likely there will not a reply due to weekend. Therefore I have to call Sergio directly once I am in the GSM network coverage. If I can get a berth, I will stopover in Funchal to see Petra and Jan from SY Sutje and also Babs and Rene from SY Momentum of Fal. My plan is for a short stay only and proceed North to the Azores rather sooner at the next weather window, which I will select again to further enhance my sailing skills on the ocean. 30 miles to go until Funchal. If I cannot get a berth, I might move on.
The past three days/two nights did fly along like hours. There is always something to do including taking rest, rest, and again rest keeping in mind that as a solo sailor you have to cover all three shifts of one job yourself.
PS: Some windows need a check as drops of water made it to the inside. The teak deck got a brilliant free wash!