Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Bligh is Bailing"

Conditions are challenging but fun at the moment with seas up to 4.5mtrs,30kts wind from astern and at times we are surfing at 10kts with just the main up...we are bailing regularly with some seas coming over the side into the cockpit..nothing to worry about, just a few gallons at a time but very regular Speed is our friend in handling these steep seas. We average about 6kts so you will see us making good time on the map..maybe too good? the interesting challenge will be tonight..we are not racing but just trying to keep the boat safe so we do not want top slow down or present the boat side onto the as some are breaking and we like staying dry.

All this began to build last night and when I was on watch last night there was no moon, stars and a big rain squall with huge wind shift of 150 degrees and then rain and 30kts,,all contributing to total disorientation..fortunately the seas had not built at that time or a torch would have been needed..anyway we persevered and after that the moon came up making things workable...tonight will be not so easy..

We have total cloud cover and the moon not up anyway till midnight..we must have the boat set up for each wave so we will be using the compass light as a point of reference so all I can say is Bligh was a bigger man than me...we will try not to use torches tonight but will let you know how we get on..things are going to get tricky tomorrow too as we close Fiji...last night a few times we thought we heard pounding surf but nothing,,,

We have had to Jibe a few times, tried to catch some water in one rain squall but got 1ltr with too much wind and only using the mizzen. Food has become uninteresting, days are now spent in our harnesses, pumping the bilge, sleeping,writing up the log religiously every hour, watching the horizon for anything unexpected, trying to keep dry, and stop chafe on the rig...we have some big marks on the mast ..have pulled a solar Panel connection out..and worst of all I have lost my spoon!! how could that happen..we also generate quite a bit of rubbish which is surprising..a few have felt a little off at times today..Dave W has been amazed at the while scene out here which is impressive but as usual impossible to catch on camera..

So it is now an hour from dark...something tells me this will be a tough night..I am on with Chris from 1800 to 2200..then again from 0200 to 0600...so no sleep tonight...a wave just crashed onto the dodger to remind me...

All is good and this is why we are here..everyone still laughing and the conversations are about food , holidays and Kupang at the moment...looking forward to some easy sailing sometime soon...see you tomorrow...DON


magpie said...

Those intermittent surf breaks on the plentiful coral reefs sound like a real worry. Toodle Pip.☺☺

Anonymous said...

OK this is serious stuff Don - you lost your spoon...........check the Pom's pockets .............that's just the sort of stunt they would pull...they can't be trusted.......mark my words they will be in Cahoots with this (is that a word??) lol!! If you want to stir them up, ask them what they think are their chances in Next Years Rugby World Cup??? Nil, Zero, Zilch, None whatsoever, Not in this lifetime are just a few that spring to mind!!!Aw and looking on the bright side, It'll be tough for you and Dave not showering and bathing but for the Poms it'll be pretty much life as normal!!!!! (that was a joke so settle all you Poms)!!Stay safe! MJ


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Patron of Sheffield Institute Foundation said...

Thanks Eric,
for providing all the info on Jessica,
A truly remarkable feat for such a Young Lady.

the Skipper of the TBB Don McIntyre
will be doubly Happy whens she crosses the finishing line! as it was he & his wife Margie who have very kindly provided the boat for her.

Don was hoping that she would be back before he set sail in the TBBE.

Good Luck Jessica
Stuart XXX

Toni McLean said...

Wow, you're making it sound very real ... and tough already. Lovely descriptions which help us to know just what conditions you're experiencing. So many things Jessica wrote about triggered memories from my sailing days, and something in this blog has triggered another memory for me. Though I was in a 43' timber yawl, very different from your little boat, I remember the pitch dark, rainy nights sailing in reefy waters, when I'd be sure I could hear surf breaking. No amount of checking the GPS and the chart could ever quite satisfy me!

The speed sounds great, as long as you get to ride the swell and not get swamped ... as you say.

I'm just amazed that you can still find time and mental energy to write a blog. I hope last night wasn't too bad for you.