Sunday 21 June Under Bare Poles

Written by Jack van Ommen on June 21st, 2009

At 15.30 hrs I was at 32.38 N 70.33 W with 290 miles to Bermuda. The promised gale force winds made me drop the storm jib in the early evening. The noise was the worst part of it, the vibration from the sail and the headfoil make the whole boat like a guitar sound box. Taking the tiny jib down only slowed the boat down to just above 4 knots. The windvane steers the boat just fine as long as I am off the wind on a reach or a run. The wash boards are in the companion way hatch and except for an occasional peek outside I am snug in the cabin. An occasional wave will slap the side hard or break over it. The landscape reminds me of pictures of the infamous Fastnet race of the seventies. A hazy grey sky with a black sea and white foam all over it. The dishes accumulated in the sink till I ran out of room and had to do a difficult balancing act while the boat rolls from side to side.

I just talked to Herb and he told me to slow down even more, which I was able to do, by heading a little more into the wind. Under 2 knots. A few boats are on their way from Bermuda back to New England and have to cross the Gulf Stream in this, where the wind is contrary to the current. My predicament is not as nasty. There are several depressions happening in my region and another one to hit Bermuda later in the week. Wednesday morning arrival would be the best. It is supposed to lighten up some in the morning for me and then, hopefully I can make it by Wednesday evening. But with the number of systems pushing from different directions this can all change again.

Thanks very much for your mails in response to my yesterday “mass” mailing. There are still a few who hit the reply button. That’s a SailMail No-No.

 

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