Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Last night was quite an experience! For those of you following our route, you might have noticed that we actually went backwards yesterday. We encountered 40+ knot head winds a little after dusk. We had our mail sail triple reefed and were using a small head sail. Even so, the boat was overpowered by the strong winds and large seas. Our main sail tore just below the second reef. We think we will be able to repair it once the winds calm down in a couple of days. Not too worry, though, the sail is still strong above the third reef and we have a spare main just in case.

With the wind striking us head on, a strong current pushing us backwards, and terrible swells, we back winded the jib and hove-to. I think the deciding factor was when a big wave crashed into the boat causing Walid's bunk cloth to tear. Because he was on the high side of the tack and leaning against the cloth, he crashed to the floor and into the table. When he woke up he was terribly disoriented, a bit shook up, but not seriously injured. Anyway, heaving-to essentially stopped our forward motion and made the boat drift with the seas. What an amazing difference it made! I wouldn't have believed that it would become so calm inside afterwards. I slept like a baby and had very vivid dreams for the first time in days.

We are back on track now. As the high-pressure system moves down in front of us, the winds are backing and we should be able to make up for lost time. We are currently moving at 6 knots right on course for our great-circle route. The seas are still pretty strong, but not as bad as last night. The skies are overcast, but there is no rain and the sun is flirting with us from behind the clouds. We played a board game (thanks Brian and Renate!)and read for most of the day.


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