Gale.... ! Sun 6 June

Sunday 6th June 2010

I often think the worst part of bad weather at sea is knowing it's coming ... the waiting... the winds increasing....the seas building and the boat crashing as we drop off waves every so often. "Will it get as bad as they say?..... Are we ready for whatever?..."

This afternoon, I decided the best place (and safest!) was to be in my bunk reading a good novel ...or sleeping!! It feels so much better - and the noise is so much less than on deck!! I'd been on deck to furl away the genoa & reduce the stays'l, which had the effect of reducing our speed quite a bit but also cut down the heeling a lot - which was welcome. With the wind set to increase more, our speed would go up soon enough! I also retrieved & secured some sheets and lines which had been washed overboard and were trailing in the water - and realized I'd lost one. A short preventer line through a block on the toe rail had been led into the cockpit at both ends but the force of the seas regularly washing over the side-deck had pulled it free - so it was gone, despite a knot in one end... annoying!

The wind is presently around 28-31 knots - up from the gusty 24 knots of earlier in the day - and the barometer has dropped to 1011 hPa from the 1024 of noon yesterday. It'll be interesting to see how low it goes.... and how strong the wind gets. It's supposed to peak around midnight local time - that's 5-6 hours away. If I feel too uncomfortable, I"ll heave to. The wind now is from the N - NNE, so I've no choice but to head E, but as the wind backs eventually, the wind-steering will take us more onto the NE course I'd like to be on.

It's good to chat at times with people on the HF/SSB radio from time to time - friends on shore or on other boats. I also check in daily at 0330 UTC with the Pacific Seafarers Net, giving position and weather info which is made use of by weather forecasters.

Written by : Mike

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