hy does it always happen at dark? I had just calmed Crusty down on deck because the wind was gusting 35 knots (equal to about 40 in normal climates) and he wanted to downsize from the kite. The
latest forecast and satellite image showed nothing unusual. But this is
the Southern Ocean. Looking on the radar, I warned them of a small
squall forming on deck 2.5 miles away. By the time I got my
harness on and went on deck to have a look it was too late.
We went into a full-on spinout and lay on our side for what seemed
like minutes until the 2.0 oz. poly-shy kite started shredding
itself before we could get it under control. Thank god the mainsail
handled it until we got the pieces of spinnaker on board and took
off at 20 knots under the main. I didn't realize what was odd on deck
until about 2 minutes into the fire drill, but there was a light sleet
snow coming down. Second snow storm today.
Because the large low SE of us is moving to the east, we are
getting SW wind coming up from Arctic. The high we have been
running under is also moving with us and may present a problem
when we want start heading up to Perth.
The guys are doing an awesome job on deck, led by our fearless
skipper, enduring hours of hard, cold, wet, scary sailing.
Relatively, things are more challenging in the nav station as well.
Wearing everything I brought, including snow hat and gloves (special
challenge when typing on laptop wrapped in plastic) I am constantly
trying to keep stuff dry. My feet are freezing because I'm
basically standing on frozen cement. Trying to plot and work
computers with constant jerking and jolting.
The good news in all this is that we had the fastest run of the fleet
in the last sked, and we're coming up to 1800 miles to Fremantle! We
are starting to creep north and should accelerate our ascent to
normalcy in the next couple of days. They say the feeling comes back
in your feet and hands after a week or so. We'll look forward to
that and a steady bed that doesn't toss you into the drying locker
head first like it did to me this morning.
Anybody looking for adventure in the sail repair business apply at
your nearest Whitbread office. Meanwhile, I'm going to check on gas
rationing to see if I can sneak warm soup. Water temp. gauge just
went up to 38°F, so that's a good sign.
Bye for now.