At Sea Day 6; that was a stupid decision!

By 5am our starboard primary winch had packed up, so had the headsail furling hydraulics again, and by 8am the generator refused to charge the batteries. Running the engine for charging & the wind died. 48 deg C in the engine room so not that keen on checking the hydraulic fluid levels. Got there in the end. OK. Dull overcast day. Motoring.

So started fishing. Running 2 200lb lines and it’s Priceon v.s Marigold Ray. In the port corner Priceon is a professional deep high speed trawl lure. Hold the line at 6 knots and the vibrations go straight through your whole body such that you think you have just retired from 30 years road drilling! Price 22 euros. In the starboard corner we have Marigold Ray which is a squid made with a length of dyneema cover inserted into a pink marigold glove finger with 3 marigold strands as tentacles. The eye is a coke can ringpull just to create a flash of silver and some bubbles. Score so far nil nil. Back to the title.

Looking at the ARC forecast for our sector it says wind NE rising max 19kn tonight & 24kn tomorrow 6am. But we are in squalls so we added 50%. Went to the bow and manually unfurled a scrap of headsail until my wife stuck 4 fingers in the air. I think it meant we were at 4 knots. The remnants of that squall passed and we started to drop to 3.6kn speed. Ah well we are reefed for worst case so I go to bed. In bed in the stern maybe 25 minutes later I can hear the autopilot working overtime. That was a stupid decision were too slow so I have to get up, out in the rain to the bow again, unwind a little more sail. I only have 2 hours of my sleep shift left. So reluctantly it’s up to the saloon. Ha, it’s already blowing F7 and we are actually running at 7 knots. So I move to a quiet midship berth. What a good timely decision we had made. And finally if my Raymarine radar is Paul Daniels then I am Debbie McGee! When the first few squalls appeared I noticed that there was a corridor down the middle on radar with no rain. First couple of times taking the corridor worked – no rain. Then the magic vanished as they got heavier. The corridor? As I have a transom mounted radar the mast creates a blindspot making a ‘corridor’ through the squall…..

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Vital sadistics:

From no wind to currently running 6.2kn south at 170 degs to wind in F6/7. Squall after squall. Heading for Mindelo 180nm to go; no sign of trades on the grib.

From the galley: Bacon, eggs, mushrooms, toasted rye bread, butter & honey Chicken mayo on baked potato Home made salsa & nachos The end of the storm batch of spag bol on gnocci Coconut flan desert

Outlook – rough night and rougher morning.

Pictures – working the deck in 35 knots


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