Saturday, December 05, 2009

Squalls all round

From Sam:

We have been having some problems with connections for email transmission so you may have had a bit of a gap. Anyway, progress is good after we hit a lull which lasted the best part of a day and a bit with very light winds. We have now run into the squall zone and encountered two of three little ones before hitting the big Momma last night (my watch of course). Winds up to 50 kts. We got the main right in and slimmed down the genoa (left the pole out). The squall looked huge on the radar and very black and threatening when seen alongside, with its own private donner und blitzen going on inside. The B... thing seemed to follow us, changing shape on the screen and developing "arms" that reached out to clobber us with heavy rain every time we tried to duck and run. We had to take a 60 degree course change to eventually shake it off. Not fun, but we were able to rack up some good speeds 9-10 knots at times. And of course in the middle of all this the autopilot dropped out and I had a hell of a wrestle with the wheel to get us back. Didn't do much for general crew morale which is a tad frayed in places. I'm ok. As the hired hand, I just slink off to the barn until it's all over. Oh how I love my Kalessin crew even old dreadlocks grumpy! Our boat is so easy and uncomplicated to sail, a shining example of the KISS principle.

Played Trivial Pursuits with Tucanon yesterday, we lost, but not by much. I felt that the US contingent were less than enthusiastic because it had  too many English questions. Alan has threatened to challenge them to Scrabble in which we have the board.

Two yachts in sight this morning which is fine and bright with blue sky. Very hot.

Distance to run now in the 700 range so (all things being equal) landfall by Dec 10/11. I am looking forward to a very long walk!

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