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14th October 2013 Strong wind and rough seas off Oregon, approaching Cape Blanco.

Monday 14th October

A lovely sunny day - but steep, short seas are continuing to knock us about a lot . The following seas have built to about 2.5m/8ft and I decided by mid-morning, in view of the 20+kt winds we were already experiencing, with possibly stronger wind forecast, to head further off Cape Blanco - notorious, as is Cape Mendocino 145 ml to its south, for strong weather and nasty seas. We should be passing Cape Blanco about 120 ml off.

3pm I went up on deck intending to tie in the second reef in the stronger conditions - and found the genoa badly ripped down its centre. I managed to furl it in past the ripped section, leaving just a small amount unfurled - I'd poled it out last night as darkness was falling. We've been making 6-7 knots in the good NNE wind.

I then noticed the large butane tank lashed on deck had come loose in the lumpy conditions - it was quickly tied down with a strong rope. I normally prefer not to stow anything on deck on offshore passages, except possibly the deflated dinghy - this incident showed exactly why that's a good idea.... (I 'd expected that, by now, the butane would have been finished so I could throw away the tank, but I've not done much cooking of late!)

Just to make sure everything happened in threes, the third reef line had come undone - I'd clearly not tied it in well enough when the new sail was put in place last Monday. So that had to be dealt with as well.

5:30pm (PDT) Position: 43:55N, 126:38W. DTF: 515 n.ml. Wind N-NNE 25kt, speed (SOG) 6.3kt, course (COG) 204T, swell NNW 2.5m - close togther, every 5s , so they're very steep-faced, making for an uncomfortable motion. Sun getting low - time to eat before it gets dark: a nice roast chicken to finish.

Evenings and early mornings are times for ham radio chats - sometimes making use of my new callsign. While my transmissions are usually good, I have a lot of noise on frequency, making receiving difficult if I don't switch off my instruments... I wish I could find a solution to that problem! I've put ferrites all over the place, to no avail... Maybe I need to put a lot more in place?

7.40pm Well - so much for radio chats - I've finally managed to tie in the 2nd reef - had a bit of a struggle, not having released the lazyjacks enough, so things got a bit tangled up and then the jammer holding the lazyjack on the mast jammed completely and took an age to release - but I finally did it ..... so, "by the light of the silvery moon", we finally got things under control ... Now for some food ... Wind is a good Force 6 - up to 27kt - and speed is around 7kt downwind, but we're no longer over-canvassed & our motion feels better, despite the waves still being big, making us surf often to over 9kt .

Written by : Mike

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