26 November 2013

All yesterday evening the wind blew strong from the NE and we sailed with only two reefs in the mainsail. I woke at midnight and the wind had fallen away enough to set the full main and pole out the Genoa. There was just enough wind all night to stop the main from slapping around but not much more. By daybreak though it was lighter and I had to drop the main, it was flogging around for no reason. I kept the Genoa up and we made very slow headway in the NE F1-2 light air. I shook my head and laughed, from a feast to a famine.

I had expected sunshine and Trade wind sailing once we had passed the Canaries but this morning was overcast, dull and damp. I should have been sitting in the cockpit soaking up some sunshine as we sped along south, but I was huddled up in my oilskins watching the Genoa fill and empty itself continuously. I had to steer SE, almost 90 degrees off our course, to try and keep some wind in it.

To windward a grey lacy curtain of rain draped down to the horizon. The rain, when it came, didn’t bring any more wind; it just changed the sea surface around us to a million ever changing circles. To the southwest was a patch of blue sky and lighter cloud, which held a promise of better weather if we could ever reach it.
An insect like a dragonfly flew over us! It hovered around the masthead then made a decision not to land and headed off to the north. At the time the nearest land was the island of Hierro about 50nm to the NE.

The sky eventually cleared and it was like a door opening into a different climate. The sun came out in a mostly blue sky and the wind picked up to a fine NE’ly F4. We were underway again and sailing!

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