Oh, what frustrations I have been having in these light variable winds. Actually, I was quite surprised that the winds held out as long as they did. I was quite expecting the light winds to hit yesterday afternoon however they managed to hang around until after midnight blowing in at 10-15 knots from the WNW before they backed all the way around to the South. I gybed to keep course and was able to hold a heading of 065 degrees in the light southerly winds. It wasn't all a loss as I was still in 7-8 knots of wind which is just enough for Climate Action Now to move along in.
Well, it has defiantly been a night of changing conditions as this trough passes over me and the high-pressure system catches up. Last night the conditions were not very nice with a consistent drizzly rain and easing winds. I was able to change to my No 1 jib at around 8 pm and I had the full mainsail up. With all the rain it was an almost completely black night on deck and I couldn't see anything around me except for more darkness which was a little eerie. It likely didn't help that I binge watched The Walking Dead TV series.
After the easing winds yesterday it was quite the nice surprise when the winds started building at sunset last night. I was sailing in a Northerly wind on a beam reach so when the winds started to build I very quickly needed to change my large jib out for the no 3 jibs. My larger jib is only rated to 15 knots of wind and I was soon getting over 20 knots. I decided to take the pressure off the sail while I furled it away and so I altered course so that I was now travelling with the winds. I was able to change out the jibs without too much hassle and went back to course before going below out of the cold.
Change is in the air as the new Northerly winds have filled in. Yesterday afternoon the winds were blowing mostly from the west however they would shift around a bit from 250-280 Degrees. As I was still trying to hold a course of 120 Degrees I needed to often alter my course by a little port or starboard to catch those wind shifts. It was something to keep me busy. By midnight the new winds had arrived so I dragged myself out of bed and went on deck to put a gybe in. The winds by now had also eased so I was sailing in 15 knots of true wind making for some slow progress however it did make gybing Climate Action Now an easy process.
Well after all the drama of yesterday with water in the tanks and the broken preventer today has been very mild in comparison. Last night the winds maintained their 25-30 knot wind strength but the major difference was that the swell decreased to 3 meters. This meant that I wasn't getting rolled and knocked down as much so it almost seemed like a mellow night of sailing in the deep south. My new preventer line survived the night and by this morning the winds were staying mostly below 25 knots so I decided to go on deck and shake the 1st reef in the mainsail.
Well its been a wet, cold and bouncy 24 hours with the swells still up in the 4-5 metre range and the winds are sitting mostly between 25 knots and 30 knots. It does make for an interesting ride. Most of the night Climate Action Now was handling the conditions well however at around 2am I was hit by a rather large squall that blew in with 37 knots of wind and stayed for well over 30 minutes.
Wow, I cannot believe it is December already, how the time fly’s when you alone on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Last night was a great night sailing and I managed to complete a 200nm run over 24 hours. The winds were blowing mostly at 30 knots true wind and as I was travelling with it I was sailing in 20-25 knots Apparent winds. I kept the 1st reef in the mainsail and the No 3 Jib up for the night. We were flying surfing waves and occasionally getting smashed sideways by the large 4-5-meter swell rolling in.
I just have to start off by saying that I have been doing the happy dance around the boat because finally I have following winds and am able to get some miles under my belt. I have already sailed since midnight the same amount of miles that I was doing in 24 hours down the west coast so to say I am a happy girl is an understatement, however, a little more sleep last night would have been the icing on the cake.
Well, again the conditions have been trying my patience with the light winds one second and the high winds the next. The times that the winds are high or low are never long enough for me to decide to shake a reef out but it doesn't stop me from thinking about it every time. So most of my time of late is wondering if I need to reduce sail as the boat is on a hard lean or if I should put the effort into shaking out a reef only to have to put it back in again a short time later. It is always a bit of a dilemma because you don't want to push the boat too hard and break a sail and I also don't want to just wallow and travel at 3 knots waiting for the next gust to arrive.
Yesterday you may remember that I signed off my blog in a little of a haste. When the winds had suddenly started blowing well above the sail selection and Climate Action Now was laying right over on her side with half the decks submerged in water. I really had to put my rock climbing skills to use to get safely on deck and start about shortening sail.