Monday, 6 June 2016

Azores Inbound - Day 14

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 37 31N 033 02W, saillng at 5 knots on a course of 090M. The wind is SW at 20-25 knots with a 3m leftover sea and 2m swell. We are sailing under triple-furled yankee. Overcast sky with very low base slowly lifting. Our day's run was not correctly recorded, our DMG was 122nm and we have 218nm to go. Less than a Geraldton!

Our log problem continues. Previously the impeller was stopping. Now the unit shows reasonable speeds but clearly incorrect distances. Time for a reboot!

We had a pretty good blow last night. Winds got up to around 35 knots steady, probably reaching 40 in the gusts. The boat handled it very well. The only incident was my timing one of my quick look-arounds with the biggest greenie of the night. I had just slid back the companionway hatch when it hit us. It jetted through the gates (gaps for halyards etc) at the bottom of the dodger and cascaded below. The only apparent damage is that one of the gas detector sensors appears to have "drowned".

Yesterday afternoon the wind gradually built from the S. At 1800 we handed the main and went on under staysail alone. Initially the wind was from the S and we were beam reaching. Eventually the waves built to the point where we were no longer comfortable on that point of sail - too many breaking waves and too rolly. So we bore away and also partially furled the (storm jib sized) staysail. That was much more comfortable. The beam reach had ensured we weren't "sucked in" towards the centre of the low to our N. Within a couple of hours the wind had veered to the SW and we were steering 090M again.

Blows like this are somewhat stressful in a little boat - perhaps in any boat. The boat performed brilliantly but I'd have to say we didn't get much sleep! I'd much rather have been where we were than where a couple of other boats were - racing to their landfalls to try to beat the weather. I always think that a risky undertaking.

This morning we spent several hours cleaning up 'apres le deluge'. At least we were on starboard tack, otherwise this computer would be dead. The cooker got a thorough dowsing and the bilge in that area is now saltier but probably cleaner than it was before.

Our gas detector controls a solenoid and with a dead sensor we get no gas. After an hour or two the sensor showed no sign of recovery so I dug out my "hot-wire" harness and have now fitted and tested it. So we can have a cuppa shortly. We managed to kill one of the sensors earlier this year with a mis-directed insect spray. I made the harness as a temporary measure but kept it "just in case".

The wind is gradually abating. We expect it to be around 18-22 this afternoon before easing further tonight and tomorrow. Our ETA in Horta is Wednesday morning. Bring it on!

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