Bad weather to expect

Katy manage to fix the head sail yesterday it took a great part of that day, hard work well done! The wind picked up so we decided to wait until today to hoist it again. In the mean time the cutter sail did remarkably well. Wind was fare higher than the predicted +/- 12. Often close to 18 kn so speed was good. We can not sail very close to the wind with the stay sail but close enough for now. The going this night was rocky so not much sleep for the captain. Today we put the Genoa back and is now motor sailing in light wind with the genoa partly furled. The weather system in front of us does not look GOOD. If it materialize it will be by far the worst weather we have encounter so far. But we know that this trip could offer bad conditions. That’s the reason we have crew aboard, to get some relief and be able to rest during spell with bad weather. We had hoped that our genoa should be in full working condition but is now close to retirement actually well passed it should be in a home for old worn out sails.
It is getting colder, actually very chilly the water temperature is around 23 instead of 27 degree Celsius. During nights longJohn’s and heavy duty jackets is required Distance last 24 hours 140 nM where of 95 by sail
Distance to go is 716 nM

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More bad news

Yesterday the wind picked up further, soon we was closed hauled in 30 knots of wind, discovering a big tear in the middles of the head sail! Not good, We furled the sail and decided to tack and head direct into the cold front again! to get passed the bad weather. Motor Sailing with just a tiny bit of the headsail unfurled towards the front to have the tear inside the furled part of the sail . Torrential rain and strong wind often close to 30 knot more or less close hauled, we cut the engine and made rather good head way just sailing with reefed main, mizzen and a patch of our head sail out, unfortunately in about the same direction we came from. The going was UNCOMFORTABLE. After about three hours the wind eased and we tacked and could sail slowly in direction that toke us closer to our destination. But morale is still good our crew still smiling. Today we toke down the sail and Kate one of our crew is now working hard to get our head sail in a condition that allow us to use
it in light wind, which is expected for a few days. The repair the loft in St George did to the top of the head sail is torn again obvious a poor repair. The bad front threatening us to heave to in a few days looks less bad so that is good news.
Distance day 6 was 155 nM but still 850 nM to go. Now slowly motor-sailing in light wind hope to have our head sail in place before dark to be able to sail during the night.

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Changing conditions

Weather have been very good, one might say close to excellent, but not any more. I’v been focused on avoiding to be becalmed, and missed to look at the gust forecast. Luckily Kerstin has not. yesterday afternoon she pointed out to me that we are in for some potentially nasty weather. And yes we were, the approaching cold front has plenty of rain and gusts to offer. Something we would like to minimize the impact of. We changed our strategy went down wind with pooled out genoa direct to the front to shorten the distance with bad weather. After a few hours the wind shifted almost 180 degree and increased to about 20 knot true, soon also massive rain. Unfortunately the thought might have been right but probably wrongly executed. We are now since early last night sailing up wind in 18 to 20 knot true wind, speed ok, course not so good, and the ride is rather uncomfortable with large swells sometimes confused a lot of hammering. Even small issues like making a cup of coffee is challenging, making a bowl of cereal or with milk requires two persons. But this is not all on Wednesday a new weather system might develop to some really bad, Chris Parker our routing man suggest heaving to in such case.
So no cheese and cracker sailing any longer, however maybe the only thing we can eat now! as cooking now not only difficult but a bit hazardous.
Distance last 24 h 159 nM
Distance to go 969 nM
Still life is good.

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Great speed

From 0800 UTC yesterday to 0800 UTC today we made 200 nM, that is NOT BAD. The fourth day gave 189 nM. Now speed is down to 6 to 7 kn, wind on the quarter 12 to 15 kn hopefully picking up later today. Last nights ride was rather bumpy and now and then the sea is rather confused. Sleep is so so but mood is very good. The most interest is now how to avoid all large patches of no wind. The forecast “promise “ gusts in the 35 to 40 kn range coming days are rather keen to avoid them as well. Sky is overcast but no rain or squalls yet.
Less Saragossa sea weed so now the lures are in, but have not lured any fish yet. 1115 nM to go.

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Great progress

We have made very good speed the last 24 hours, wind varies between 14 to 20 kn apparent. Autopilot in wind vane mood steering 65 degree towards the wind. Speed touching 9 knots occasionally. Last 24 h we made 191 nM, one of the best 24 hours distances ever. Seas occasionally a bit confused so sleep not great but mode is. Looks as conditions will stay for a few days! Distance to Horta ca 1300 nM. Still a lot of Saragossa weed so no fishing. Cocking is becoming more challenging with the increasing wind, but so fare food has been good. Our crew are vegetarians and the cock very good food.

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