Trust your barometer more then your weather report!

Trust your barometer more then your weather report!

What a day of
differences we have had! Last night (or the early hours of the 30th November)
saw the barometer dropping one mb (or hPa as we’re meant to say nowadays) an
hour all the way from 1003 on Friday afternoon to 994 on Saturday at 3am…a
clear sign for windier times ahead than we had been having. The morning watch
(the 8-12 Blues) made all the preparations…the sails were reefed, the number 1
jib replaced by the number 2 yet the wind held back, in fact, the sun came out!
We had light weather all of yesterday and woke up just before midday to
beautiful sunshine and clear blue skies! The sun makes such a difference in
terms of morale on board and body temperature! Finally just sitting down in the
sun is enough to warm you without your body having to make the physical effort
of doing it itself! Discussion mainly centered around the last time anyone had
actually seen the sun (the verdict being Monday) and activities included waste
management (shredding plastic, smashing glass and crushing cans), some woodwork
by Gijs and some outdoor napping!

But oh, how naive we are! Getting into
bed only 6 hours ago, showered, well fed, inspired by some epic television
series watching and comfortable we woke up at midnight to find a gale raging
outside! Well, when I say we woke up…most of us had been bounced awake about
10pm by the swell that is now throwing us around the aft cabin. Outside was a
very different story to what it was when we left…the mainsail is down, the jib
on the deck and all around us are dark threatening clouds. Saying that, either
side of the apocalypse is a magnificent half-light sky filled with stars but
like most lovely things wrapped in ominous doom we’re not really concentrating
on the positives here! We started our watch with a tentative gybe, always a
nervous thing in such winds but it went very smoothly and we are now wrestling
with the helm and the waves traveling towards CH at 6-9 knots (little bit of
surf speed here and there!)

so, all the seasons in one day it seems! And
just when you thought that the Southern Ocean couldn’t possibly get more
schizophrenic Sam is currently shouting ‘SNOW SNOW SNOW’ in a voice mixed
between shock, bewilderment and ok, a little ‘I cannot believe this’ rage!! But
this is life here and what a good thing we made the most of the sunshine whilst
we had it!

In other news, wildlife watch struck gold (again) yesterday as
they spotted two pods of Killer Whales (or Orcas) traveling together. They
reported seeing the bigger ones traveling together whilst the smaller ones
followed close by – lots of gigantic black fins, some looking even as big as
Virginia. The Europa have also made it round Cape Horn! They have really had a
storming sail, taking the lead by over 300 miles so a big congratulations to her
and her crew who have worked incredibly hard these last weeks in some serious

As for us, we are at 303 miles to go! So close but a little more
interesting weather to go we think! This wind was not on the weather reports and
there is forecasted more to come in a few days so we will see what happens! Plus
there is the discussion now…”What happens AFTER Cape Horn”!? (philosophically
we mean, we all know our plans for the Falklands…Bar and Baths!!)
With Love, The Red Watch

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