Midnight LT Mon into Tues... Had 1 hour of sleep but then had to get on deck to release the reef I'd tied in earlier in over 20 kt of wind. Pressure has dropped 2 hPa to 1009 within the last 3 hrs - usually a sure sign of strong wind to come - we'll find out soon enough.
In meantime, with swell rolling us about and boom wanting to crash from one side of the boat to the other in wind of only 4-5 kts, I've re-attached the preventer to hold the boom in place and try to help the sail work with what little wind it can find.
Might as well get another hour of sleep after removing my wet outers ....
7.30am Should have realised why the wind had died last night.... wind shift imminent... Got some sleep but then woke up at 2am, sensing change .... we were heeling a lot with full canvas - way too much - in increased wind from WNW, shifted from E. Left things alone for a time - we were making good speed! With daylight, wind was still up so furled in most of genoa to lessen the heeling... That worked but decided still more help was needed so tied in two reefs. I noticed one batten end was adrift - not connectedd to mast track slide which looks to have lost its pin and possibly the tape used also.
Noticed my computer has been showing wrong date & time (now corrected) - so position reports are possibly wrongly timed also.
I need some breakfast and a lot more sleep...
Midday: Well - fat chance of either...!
Wind got up to 30kt in big rain squall that seemed to last forever... Stayed on deck after furling in genoa to 'handkerchief' size. Boat coping fine and speed rose dramatically. No sleep and no b'fast though...
Two hours later, wind died again - story of today - gusting up big time or nothing... Keeping me busy! Was winching in mainsheet at one point with woolly hat on - got totally doused by wave breaking over cockpit - took my hat away - found it on aft deck and retrieved it - sodden!
While winching in genoa, spotted a familiar pin lying on port side close to deck drain - from batten end slide - how lucky!! With second reef in, and a lull in the wind, I was able to get a good look at the batten end-to-mast-track-slide connection. All there (metal connector, no tape used, TG) but a ring holding pin in place had gone missing - so many times recently rings holding something in place have disappeared or turned totally rusty - clearly not strong or well-designed enough for the job... Chinese??
Wind died away and we started drifting .... I was able to get the batten end in place and replace the pin holding it and, with difficulty, insert a ring to hold it there - not the strong one I'd hoped to use - was too difficult to insert that while holding up the sail and batten out of my way, despite being tied to the mast in the swell. Used a more flimsy one and thought to add some wire - but as I started doing that the wind got up strongly again - another rain squall - hastily furled in some genoa and got down below - wet again...
Black-footed albatross keeps coming to visit - they must be quite common over this bit of ocean.
Can't see us making Cape Blanco before Friday, when strong system expected - too often wind has died away and we make very little progress. Will expect to heave-to, if needed.
4pm Daylight beginning to fade. 75 ml W of Ocean City, WA. Wind: WSW 5kt. Boat: 1kt SSW - SLOW! (4.15pm - 2.2 kt - doubled for a short time...wow!)