Witnessing the clashing of tides..


d'Albora's Action Project: AUS 360 Blog Update

Presented by Pivotel

Afternoon all,

Again sorry for the late blog things have been busy on-board with shifting weather patterns and storm cells. Yesterday afternoon I was able to witness a clashing of tides. I was drifting in almost no wind about an hour from sunset when my yacht Climate Action Now was suddenly getting taken along by the current at the rapid rate of 3 knots. As I watched I was dragged east into turbulent seas and closer to land that I would have liked. After about 20 minutes of getting dragged along I was dragged to the place where the incoming and outgoing tides were meeting and there was just this line of angry swirling ocean and not a breath of wind to kick up the swell that was forming. It was quite a thing to see and there must be one heck of a tide here because that was all happening 20nm from land and wide open water so I hate to think of what it would be like in a narrow passage.

Eventually, I was released from the currents and the winds filled into a light 5 knots which was enough to get me moving in the right direction again just in time to watch an epic sunset. As there were all these stormy clouds around it just made for an amazing skyline filled with pinks, oranges and golds. Eventually dusk arrived and the winds filled into a healthy 10 knots allowing for me to actually make some miles and even some of them on course. It was the first night in several days that I actually had wind all night long. It wasn't consistent but it was wind nun the less and I was able to actually make some miles in the right direction.

The weather at the moment is basically super hot so that is forming little storm cells overland from the hot air rising and then those cells are getting blown out to sea and influencing the winds that I have and causing it to change direction all night and all day. Most of the wind has been in the 5-15 knots range and blowing in from the SW to NW direction but this afternoon I coped a wammy of a squall. A squall is a term used to identify a small localised storm cell.

The clouds aren't really defined as a normal squall would be, the sky is just all different shades of grey and in some sections, you can see a darker grey than others indicating the rain but until this afternoon the winds would increase by 10 knots not much more. Well, I was happily sitting on the deck when the boat started to pick up speed and I looked across and noticed the approaching squall. These are normally short in duration with almost no wind on the back end of them so I was not wishing to change sails if I could help it.

Very quickly the winds went from 10 knots to 20 knots and as I still had my light air no 1 Jib up I decided the best plan would be to alter course and run with the wind to minimise the apparent winds on the boat. I am so glad that I did because the next second I was getting hit with 28 knots and I still had all my sails up and I normally only carry my No1 Jib up to 15 knots of wind so I was really worried that I would end up blowing out the sail. It lasted for all of 15 minutes and the whole time I was chewing my fingernails just waiting to hear that bang of the sail breaking but it thankfully held and I was able to get back on course after the storm had passed.

Thanks to the following Sponsors for all their continued support: d’Albora Marinas, Pivotel  B&G, Australian Geographic, Zhik , Park Fuels, Karver, 3M, White Bay 6 Marine Park, and Great Circle Life Raft.