13 December 2013

By 1900 last night the wind had risen and we were being hard pressed with the sail we had set. I had to reduce the amount of canvas to match the conditions. I had already taken a reef in an hour before but the wind had picked up some more. I dropped the Genoa and unhanked it from the forestay and got it stowed below. Then pulled up the Jib, hanked it on and reattached the sheets. When I glanced aloft to see the halyard was clear before hoisting the moon was above us shinning through mottled cloud. I pulled up the sail then made my aft to the cockpit with knees bent to keep my center of gravity low. One handhold for every footstep I took. The moon daubed the slate grey and white crested sea with silver and there was no need for a headtorch. Soon after I had to take in another reef and with two reefs in and the Jib set our speed barely altered but we were far better suited to the conditions.

The seas are pretty much beam on and the decks are constantly wet. The windward side is plied with spray and the lee side gets a regular sloshing of white water as we hell and dip into the wave tops. Although it’s still warm anything outside has to be done in oilskins.

Trying to get a sun sight is tricky and this morning I ran Elsi off before the wind to steady us up and reduce the spray coming across. Any sun sight from a small boat in a rolling sea is never very accurate and if my position is within five miles of where we are I’ll be quite happy with that.

There’s not much else really. We’ve had another very good days run and are still going well as I write this at 1445. Alyson is en route to New Zealand for Christmas so updates may not be posted as regularly as before but the website will get updated as and when she has an internet connection. Some people may think that I update the website but I only send the reports back to her. I have no way to access the internet and only send reports back as data over the radio, which end up as an email with her. I’ll be interested to see how it all looks when I get back.

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