Well, after Hoving too for the night last night, there was a vast improvement in sleep quality and quantity. I woke up this morning feeling much better for it. I woke many times in the night to check on the wind strength and how the swell was going but apart from a few large crashing waves it was mostly okay. The winds topped out at 48 knots so well done to Quantum Sails, Wichard Pacific and My yacht for supplying me with equipment that can take such a punishment.
When I woke, I had a little strategy session with Bob from Met Bob who is doing all of my weather routing and we came up with the following plan. I need to get below 41 South to get out of the strong northern currents. I need to get to the west a bit to allow room for a run in bad seas so I have until the next storm which is due on Monday to get to 41 South 15 East. Then with my fingers crossed I will be able to make the dash south below 45 on the back side of that storm. Once I am traveling with the systems and below 45 the focus will be on the cold more than the size of the swell as I am below the worst of the storms at those latitudes.
So with a goal in mind I now have over 130nm to sail in a little over a day. In normal conditions this would be easy but I still have 6-7 meter swell out here and the winds are still in the low 30 knot range so beating to windward is not very pleasant or easy. The first step is to start sailing so I tacked the jib over to get the boat out of the hove too and very slowly made my way south.
I then managed to get a hold of the riggers in Cape Town to discuss what could likely be happening with the Storm Jib halyard. I explained what had happened and Warrens instant thought was that the halyard is crossed with another halyard inside the mast. If this is true, then I would be able to solve the issue without needing to climb the mast. So today, I spent the better part, a couple meters off the deck up the mast steps looking into the exit slots that the halyards run through to see if I could see anything. I had no luck but for some reason, when I tried to pull on the storm jib halyard again it was suddenly freed up………….amazing.
So, I set about getting the storm jib back up and finally succeeded 2 hours later. It is surprising how difficult everything becomes when the boat is pounding into a large sea way in 30 knots but finally the job was done and my strength was spent.
I feel like th last 3 days have all caught up to me now as my muscles are aching like I have run a marathon but there is nothing I can do but push through. So now I am sailing in winds 30-35 knots occasionally 40 knots with the 3rd reef in my mainsail and the storm jib up. While we are a touch pressed the boat is flying along towards that waypoint.
I have had a lovely hot dinner of mashed potato with garlic and spinach, I put on another set of thermals today and once again my warm bed is calling me so goodnight.