A reach, a beam reach, down wind, close hauled…………..

A reach, a beam reach, down wind, close hauled, 10 to 30 knots of wind, we had it all
In the last 24 hours we have seen it all! The wind during the day increased sometimes to a near gale force, coming from the west north west, with us sailing at a reach. Beautiful skies filled with thick clouds and showers every now and then; but also sunshine and bright blue skies and a deep blue ocean.

Then the wind changed, decreased and turned more to the north west, leaving us with sheets to pull in and discussions of more sail. During the watch hand over at 20:00 the jib was changed from the storm jib into the #2 jib; then during the 20 to 00 watch the first reefs were pulled out and the sheets pulled in some more to almost close hauled; next watch hand over the 2nd jib was changed into our big jib, our #1. And with the Dogwatch on deck the top sails were set and sheets eased out again as the wind changed somewhat. We are now on a reach and setting a nice pace at 6,6 knots. We will try to keep up an average of 6 knots towards Ireland because there is a changing Low pressure area coming in from the north in a day or two. The low will bring some easterly winds and we are hoping to be in port before that happens. Another 276 miles to Crookhaven.

The night is dark, but with stars. We saw the last bit of moon disappear when we came on watch. Outside it is cold, luckily it is not raining! Everybody is layering up their clothes and even though it is a dry night, we are all in our sailing suits / foul weather gear, to keep the cold wind out! Down below it is nice and warm, outside we have hot chocolate though, or sandwiches with melted cheese to forget the sting of the cold for a while. No complaints though, because it is beautiful sailing!