Daily Archives: February 28, 2014

Downwind at a walking pace

After our first day of sailing with the wind on our beam, a very fast and comfortable angle for us, the wind has gone back to its usual east and we’ve been sailing wing and wing for the past two days. It’s a lovely point of sail but slow and a little rolly. Last night we were full and by (I love that term, meaning all sails up) expecting the light wind to continue. Normally we reef the mainsail overnight — reduce its size, just in case we get hit with a squall or the wind kicks up — but we didn’t last night and wouldn’t you know it, the wind filled in from 10-12 kts to 18-22 kts. We went from sailing about 5kts to 8 kts and sometimes 8.5 kts dead downwind. We were well balanced and stable but after a while the wind started coming around to the side and I woke Jack so we could decide if we should take the preventer off and bring the jib back around. We hemmed and hawed and finally decided we were doing ok, and a look at the weather info we had left Puerto Rico with showed that we were in a small area of higher winds and that it would die down a little later. Just to be sure, though, I asked Jack to stay out in the cockpit with me for a while so we both curled up in the corner under one blanket and took turns checking the sails, the wind, the course and the horizon for ships.

Eventually Jack went back down to bed and we resumed our regular watch schedule but I’m feeling all kinked up from sharing the narrow cockpit seaberth for a couple of hours. Jack woke me just before 7am so I could listen to the weather on Single Sideband radio. More of the same. We plan to continue our present WSW course until we’re almost even with Jamaica then turn south. This is to avoid the area of high winds off the coast of Colombia. Our friends stayed 100 miles off and found 35 kts of wind. We’re planning to stay more that 150 mils off and hope that’s enough.

It’s Thursday morning. Jack is sleeping. It’s another beautiful day with blue sky and puffy clouds, not a ship to be seen either visually or on AIS. No birds, no turtles, no dolphins, no flying fish. Just us on the big blue sea.


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