My first 24 hours I had great winds. The next two days the wind became light and blew out of the north. Day three I accidentally set something heavy on my backup fire extinguisher and shot white powder all over the boat. Fun with cleaning. Day 4 and 5 the wind picked up to 25kts out of the south and I made good use of the wind to make my easting and made 252nm in 48 hours. Its good to see that with the wind out of the right direction I can really get this little boat moving. I’m still very careful about how I sail the boat because of all the weight – so in head winds I’m very slow. I know most modern sailor’s would frown upon adding so much weight to a boat, but for hundreds and hundreds of years stretching back before the days of the Greek’s, sailors have loaded there boats heavy with cargo – boats less sea worthy then my Albin Vega 27. I’m sure they sailed their boats differently so they could cope with the extra weight. Day 6 brought the most excitement of the trip thus far. I noticed a lot of lighting behind me as the sun was setting. I thought it was just a squally thunder storm and raised extra sail to try to out maneuver it. I raced the system for four hours (my favorite type of sailboat racing) thinking I was making progress – but what I didn’t know was that it was no regular thunderstorm – it was a frontal boundary. At 2 am it finally caught up to me lashing my boat with 50kt winds, sheets of sideways rain and a tremendous amount of lighting. I hate lightning – I was hit by lightning on my first boat in southern Georgia and I lost all my electrics. If I were to be hit again it would be a disaster for this trip. I have so much fuel that a direct hit might blow up the boat. It lasted about 3 1/2 long hours and when it passed the wind changed direction and mellowed out.
For the most part I’ve just been reading a book on the raise and fall of the Zulu nation and studing spainish. My Zulu book gave me a good piece of inspiration. I was thinking about their spears (which they used for many different purposes) and looking at my boat hook and I thought “hey, I could use this to adjust my wind vane with out ever having to leave the cabin. So I now keep my trusty spear (boat hook) by my side so I can reach out and change the direction of my boat with out ever having to get up (only on a small boat!).
I’ve now made my easting and I’m just waiting for the North winds to give way to westerlies and I’ll be heading North. Come on westerlies!
(Happy B-day Rachel!)