Close hauled sailing – hitting the hors latitude

Close hauled sailing – hitting the hors latitude
We have been sailing beautifully for the past few days, nice increasing breeze with nothing much happening. Ocean sailing days blend into one another after a week or so at sea. Not because it is boring, it really never is, but because there is a certain routine that settles over the ship and things just work. We have spotted dolphins almost every day, a very big pod today, with a lot off small baby dolphins, clinging to their parent, learning how to hunt, and learning how to have fun in a bow wave! We have had a nightly visit from a petrel that we named Landy who sat on our starboard side for over 8 hours, and left when the sun came up. The weather has been warm and sunny for the biggest part, so we all have our shade spots that we look for; hiding for the sun becomes a bit of a sport when the sun is at its highest!

But today was a bit different. An overcast day, with a very high humidity, Tony called it a ‘vettige wind’, a bit of a sticky not very trust worthy wind.. and it turned out to be one of those days it just doesn’t work.. We had the topsail down since 3 in the morning as the wind increased to a beau fort 4 to 5, waves where picking up and just before dinner we had to close all the hatches because it really looked like rain. We then had to take down the jib and mainsail as the wind turned and increased suddenly; instead of a south east, we were now dealing with a north east wind, heavy rain was cleaning the deck and cooling is down and waves where rocking us side to side, thunder was around us and lightning struck the water just ahead. But with a mainsail to fold and lash down, that was heavy with rain water, we did not take the time to look up. By the time we were done, the wind had died out completely, leaving us rocking and rolling! Sam and I went off watch, trying to sleep while holding on to the side off the bunk and as we came on watch at 00:00 board time, Gijs and Tony had lowered all the sails to stop them from flapping. This sea state is something even a cup of coffee cannot fix.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.