Sail changes all over the place

Sail changes all over the place
Since Tony wrote about our blissful 24 hours
of no sail changes, we have had 4 changes already! As Sam and I took over the
watch at 00:00, the wind and the small waves were increasing. Just before 02:00
we took the topsails down, that did not even slow us down, we hammered on with a
steady 5 to 6 knots, with a course 310.. Then an hour and a half later, we had
to change the big jib into the second jib, this did slow us down somewhat, but
the stress on the rigging was gone with this jib cut for close hauled sailing
and 2 beauforte extra. By this time the waves had become annoyingly steep and
confused. Confused is a seastate as well as a description of how it looks and
feels. Waves seem to come from different directions and rock the ship back and
forth. The waves only have a short distance from each other, which makes life on
board a little less comfortable.

Then at watch hand over 06:00 we pulled
a reef in the mainsail and the mizzen as one really big cloud (that looked like
a massive shower) came rolling towards us. Sam and I went to bed at 07:15, warm
from the exercise and the porridge. Outside we heard the wind increase a little
and so we slept easy knowing the reefs were in their place.. at 12:00 we pulled
the reef of the mainsail out again. Although there had been some wind, it had
not been that much and the ship was pulling herself through the waves with great
difficulty. we needed a bit more power.

So that is how we are battling
the waves right now, reeved mizzen, full main, forestaysail and second jib. We
are doing between 5 and 6 knots at 330 (our expected course with the tradewinds
blowing from the North East and the current pushing us down, 837 NM to go to
where we think we can start heading North), but with some of the wave sequences
we get slowed down to 4 or 4,5 knots.. annoying..
But we are on the right
course; one would almost start thinking of easing out sheets.. almost.

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