The wind came

Yes the wind came around 18:00 yesterday, and we made relatively good progress. By morning when we had to pass just south of the 22 nM traffic separation zone the wind picked up and we suddenly found us closed hauled at true wind 18 to 20 kn, we furled the genoa and unfurled our stay sail, worked OK. Rain of course and sometimes a lot. Wind picking up further soon 20 to 25 gusting 30 kn. Closed hauled for 22 nM and a lot of large vessels very poor visibility and building sea. A rather large contrast from conditions earlier with calm sea little wind and sunshine.
We got close to two of the ships in the very busy shipping lane. One that we hauled up and he altered course so we could pass safe in front of him. Just as we passed him the block for the stay sail sheet parts and the sail starts to flog violently before we manage to furl it. I took a more solid block and of we went again a few minutes later. Have to invest higher quality blocks, this was Rutgerson block, similar to Lewmar, original on Amel is Antal block, high quality from Italy. I noticed that we had lost one of the battens when we again unfurled the stay sail.
Yesterday the question was will we make it to A Coruna before it gets dark? Probably not but before midnights wind is strong and I would prefer to use the genoa but not sure it will survive the strong wind, now we making just below 7 kn on a broad reach guess we would make close to 8 with the genoa , and then we would be in before dark. Will ask the Admiral when she wakes up, either arriving in the dark or push a little bit to arrive just before 20:00. Distance last 24 h 161 nM
Distance to go 65 nM
Time 11:00 UTC
Position just outside Cabo Finisterre

Yesterday night we were contacted on VHF by a French sail boat, he just wanted to say he was in front of us and only have receiving AIS I.e. he saw us but we could not se him on the AIS. He’s navigation lights was clearly visible so no danger but The only sailing vessel we seen since we left 6 days ago and he was spot on in front of us. I had to alter course else we would probably sailed right over him.
Just heard on VHF that they have issued a gale warning, According to PredictWind the gusts will increase to 30 to 35 kn Hope we arrive before it gets really bad out here

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