Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Day 15 - Bermuda to Ireland

Position: 42° 36.364 N, 033° 38.186 W
Weather: Overcast, cold (we are both spending watches bundled up, with pocket warmers and Elmer Fudd hats - the enclosure at least stops us getting wet too.
General Comments: Oh my, that hint of a climb on the barometer yesterday - was just a game, it has stayed low, see-sawing slightly up, then back down since then. The seas continued to build with at least 5m waves for a significant time, really not very pleasant.

On top of that, the autopilot failed again. We hove to and took it apart (thankfully we are now experts at removing the wheel - just two whacks with the hammer), cleaned what we could and put it back together again, but 10 minutes later it was broken again. Basically, the motor is fried, it keeps trying to work but cannot be trusted so we are now hand steering. This totally changes life aboard - we have to heave to if we want to use the bathroom, or update on the log, and we spend much less time together (while one is cooking or washing up, the other MUST be at the wheel at all times, so no easy chatter to help the day pass). With the prospect of big seas, and hand steering all night, and now totally distrusting of a forecast that had it all over by now, I wanted to heave to. We have a number of heavy weather sailing and oceanography books aboard, and one phrase I read that keeps springing to mind is "Big waves don't capsize boats - breaking waves do", it is hard enough to predict/avoid breaking waves in daylight I was not looking forward to doing it all night. I even had a big girly sob about it, but Kyle calmed me down gave me a good hug, and before long I was at the wheel as if 5m seas and 35kt gusts were perfectly normal... We've had a few scary gusts (43kt), but mostly we've been sailing in winds of high 20's with gusts in the low-mid 30's - and it is constant. We are still sailing downwind so that helps reduce the effectiveness of the gusts, but every so often a BIG wave likes to slam into us and douse the boat. The breaking waves this morning have dramatically reduced (Kyle says none around in the last hour) - and this is a huge relief. We both wish were were somewhere else right now, I guess. In the middle of all this chaos at sea, the shearwaters glide around us like this is standard fare, they seem happy, and remain graceful - amazing.

Today seems much easier than yesterday, seas are only 3m, and winds around 25kt gusting in the higher 20's.

Food: You're kidding me right? we did have some cereal and some cheese and crackers.

Progress: Yesterday we made 125nm (we had expected much more, but were hove to for much of the time), So far on this trip we have traveled (through the water) 1690nm, and have 1125nm (straight line) to go.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi all booked we fly from Stanstead into Cork on the 30 at17.25 car hire booked we fly back on the 9 July 21.30 Cant wait to see you both