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Wild Iris - Trans-Atlantic 24: Storm approaching

As dawn broke and we gybed back onto port for the final leg into St Lucia we could see black clouds on the far horizon. It took all morning with the spini up for them to get closer. Why were they not moving downwind though? Why were we on “collision course” with a weather system on our port beam? The first squalls passed ahead at right angles to our course and we took the spini down as a precautionary measure, but had it up again within 30 minutes. We then kept a compass bearing record on the squalls ahead to see which were “coming to get us” on a constant bearing. However as I came up out on deck to take another reading I saw a front approaching directly from behind… a cloud had burst and we only had a few minutes before it hit… “all hands on deck. Get the spini down immediately! Now. Now. Now!” We had 15kts of breeze. Lisa and Neil clipped on and made their way to the foredeck. I bore away to take the pressure off the kite and Richard released the guy. Neil snubbed the kite in 20kts. Lisa lowered the halyard and they both pulled it down and sat on it to stop it blowing overboard in 25kts. Just in time! 30kts. The crests of the waves were starting to get blown off into a spew. 37kts. I was hoping it wouldn't get much windier with a full main up! The waves grew and we bore away surfing downwind. Moving at around 10Kts Wild Iris hit 12kts at times and the squall lines just kept on coming and coming. We were having fun by this stage though! We unfurled the Yankee and had a 3 hour beam reach blast! The chart plotter suggesting we might be into St Lucia for supper


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