Hard Night and Harder Day!
16 December 2017 | Caribbean Sea - 430 miles to Panama
It was a dark and lumpy sea last night as we took turns resting/helm. We were making speeds up to 10 knots despite the waves being 6-8 foot and higher at times. Passed a number of ocean freighters, some only by a mile or so. It was great to have radar and AIS, takes all the guess work out it. We had one or two rain showers and a 1 AM 30 knot squall which got our attention and gave us the opportunity to reef the main sail in the dark with big wave, fun. Then this morning the seas increased and we got a 35 knot squall that ripped as we were too slow getting it furled. The main sail was already reefed for the high winds and we added one engine. We were not making great speed and without the jib, we had a choice of a shorter sail to Isla Providencia which is owned by Columbia. Our friends on Alkemi highly recommended we visit the islands. By lunch time the winds were still over 20 knots despite what the forecast predicted. Decided to remove the jib sail and repair the tear. It was a miracle that we didn't fall off the boat. The sail is big and moves in the breeze, even though we changed course to be down wind while we took it off. Got back to our rum line while Mark used his sail repair tape. We again sailed down wind while we attached the jib sail. Extremely big waves - at least 12 foot, while doing doing this task. We were both exhausted. The sail worked well. It looks like some of the tape did not stick. We are hitting huge waves with tons of water over our deck. Then a huge pod of dolphins graced us, swimming back and forth in our bow wake and jumping thru the huge waves that are slamming into us. That meant that neither of us got any rest thru the day. We will again take turns at the helm. Did not get a chance to run the water maker today. We are two very tired and sore sailors. We both took a shower too and then the sea decided to shower us with salt water!