Walkabout - Walkabout - The Day After the Night Before - Day13 Mindelo to Grenada
After the excitement of the ‘Tiramisu’ rendezvous, the next 24 hours have been looooong…. Some serious lack of sleep for both of us. Just at the time when the weather decides to play all of it's cards. We have had the strongest winds of the crossing (30.2knots was the highest seen), the biggest swells (hard to judge but look like 4m or so), and a steady flow of squalls through the night, bringing wind shift and heavy rain. All of these things are not conducive to catching up on sleep. You need to be paying attention when in the cockpit, as there is a lot of power in sails and if the steering ‘lets go’ in a gust it all gets very messy, very quickly.
Once we got going again yesterday after our rendezvous, I did put the hammer down a bit (competitive - moi??!). We saw 10 knots of boats speed regularly and delivered 8 knots average over 12 hours. We started on the BWR, then changed to main (3 reefs) and Genoa. There came a time at about midnight, when we flew off the front of a big swell doing over 10 knots, surfed down the front of it and banged loudly into the bottom…. Having got over my ‘Yeeeehaaaa’ moment, it was obvious the we were over canvassed for the hight time. It’s not good for boat durability and not good for anyone (Traci) trying to sleep in the forward cabin. So on the shift change we throttled back, furled the Genoa completely and sailed the rest of the night on just the main with 3 reefs. It made the next 6 hours more comfortable, as squall after squall came through.
All clubs and societies were cancelled yesterday. The ever-optimistic Fishing Club realised that the thought of landing something whilst we were both so tired was not a good idea.
The Cookery Club very nearly had to resort to one of my (delicious) boil in the bag meals (meat balls or chicken casserole - there is a choice). The planned beef stew in Mr D’s thermal cooker was a step too far yesterday. But Traci managed to rustle up one of her fab 'what have we got in the fridge’ meals, which was just the job.
That nasty thing ‘chafe’ reared its head gain yesterday. The main sheet (controls the main sail) is nearly half worn through!! If that had broken, things would have been interesting. So we secured the boom and ’top and tailed’ the line. In the process we discovered the reason - one of the blocks it goes through had broken on one side, don’t know how, but that rubbed through the line.
Overnight there was aloud whack on the cockpit canopy beside my head - I took a look outside and it was the biggest flying fish I have seen, flapping about on deck. It could have hit me on the head! Will this be the closest I get to handling a fish on this trip??
We have about 370 NM left to run until Grenada!! The nearest land fall at this time is Barbados, about 230 miles away - how crazy does that sound??!
Our thoughts go out to the crew of the second ARC boat that has been forced to abandon ship. They were successfully picked up by another ARC boat ‘Magic Dragon’ (a Plymouth boat). There are now 10 people on board, and they are making their way to St Lucia.