Getting ready for stronger winds

41’26.8N 027’14W course 033′ speed 8,3kn

Today we got ready for what is to come, our first low pressure area is coming in strong and we are in for a bit of a ride. And how do you prepare for this.. My guess is, the best way to prepare is, that your crew is prepared. We have been sailing in beautiful weather for months. Strongest breeze was around 25 knots and the sun was shining all the time.. But now we are in for rain, showers and winds up to 35 knots. We are in for a frontal passage, which will give us all the different weather sorts associated with a passage of a low. Strong winds in front, turning anti clockwise. Clouds starting high and becoming lower and lower until its showers, rain and grey. Then a wind shift, a veering wind, and you will have had the worst of it all.
We have a very mixed group of sailors on board, some with loads of experience, others are first time ocean sailors. I have been very insistent in the past days, that this weather was going to come, so everybody would be prepared. Insisting on cleaning up cabins, holding on to glasses and plates and making sure we are all fed!

Last night we were ready to reef but were able to keep the sails up full for much longer then expected. At 00 o’clock we reeved the main, not because it was necessary at that moment, but we knew it would be later in the watch. Its half past 3 now, and with the next watch handover we will reef the mizzen as well. Next step may be to lower the mainsail, possibly at 6 or 8 o’clock watch hand over. And hopefully with that, we will be ready for anything to come.
But lowering or reeving sail too early would be ill advised as well. The swell is annoying, short and steep, without sail, or with too little sail, we would rock too violently and stress the rigging in a very different way.

So last night we had pasta with mushrooms in cream saus and for midnight snack I went for the peanut butter sandwich, fully loaded for some action.

Our speed and direction are amazing right now, making up for some lost time.

And we had some visitors during the day. Not only did we have loads of dolphins, swim around the ship, we also had a pigeon resting on the bow and other uncomfortable places. We wanted to help it with some food and some water, but it got so scared when we approached, that we stopped trying to get close. We tried to explain to the pigeon that the coils or mooring lines were much more comfortable then the anchor or the safety net… but it seemed to think we were tricking it.. poor thing. Somewhere during the night it flew off, hopefully it will make it back home.. although.. that would be against the wind direction..

The dolphins were most likely common dolphins. Some of them gave a little show, jumping out of the water, doing belly flops and tail slaps. They were fun to watch!
Almost time for watch handover, almost time for action.

All is well on board, Jet

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