Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Last Straw

The winds continued to build over night. We woke up from our slumber to place another reef in the mainsail. But winds gusting above 40 knots and 15 feet seas were just too much for our battered, triple-reefed main. The trailing edge of the sail shredded just above the third reefing point. The bad news is that unlike the previous tear, I don’t think that we will be able to repair this one (oh, our previous repair held up just fine!). The good news (depending on your perspective) is that the winds are forecasted to blow above 25 knots for the next week. Because the tear is along the trailing edge, we can still use it for a downwind run. If the winds shift to a beat, however, then I think it will shred. Nevertheless, we decided to take it down completely and put up our small trysail.

Taking down the main and rigging the trysail was quite an ordeal. A squall came out of nowhere and we did the swap in 35 knot winds and 20 feet seas with a torrential rain pour. It felt like the rain was coming at us from the side. Waves crashed over the bow and the side of the boat. We successfully rigged the trysail and lashed the main to the boom, however.

The weather has calmed down for the moment, but the forecast does not look good. The low pressure system has strengthened, but still remains far north of us for the time being. It is likely to move east and then south over the weekend, just about the time we are approaching Portugal. At that time our weather service is forecasting 50+ knot winds and 20+ feet seas. We might have to heave-to or try to take shelter at port if these conditions arise.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shane,

We've been following your blog. After reading today's comments I think you might even look forward to trading CGB's instead of changing sails. Be safe.

Patty @ Calyon Chicago

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shane, Walid,
Make it home safe!
Good luck through the coming storm. Thinking of you. -m

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 11:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Shane and Walid,
Keep up the good work. Save all the stories. We're all watching, following, and worrying about you two out there. Good luck getting through this next one.

Thursday, November 23, 2006 8:34:00 PM  

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