Squals & Water Leaks
17 December 2017 | Caribbean Sea - 273 miles to Panama
Took turns manning the helm thru the night. Flying fish from the many waves that spilled onto our deck ended up in the cockpit along with a lot of seawater. It was very dark outside with high winds and seas. You got wet from the spray just going out to check our course and position. Sailed with a double-reefed main and tiny piece of the jib and we made speeds up to 10 knots. The seas were up to 12 feet. It seemed the smaller waves were the ones that pounded on the bottom of our pontoons and made a loud bang. At one point when I was in the cabin sleeping, I thought my body was elevating up and crashing down in the cabin. We changed our philosophy to doing checks every 10 - 15 minutes. Every few times we would verify there were no ships around us by checking the radar display. It also shows the storms approaching. I had two hours of sleep from 4-6 am which I finally felt like I got some sleep. By this time, it was already getting light and easier to see the big waves. A storm blew in early morning and we furled the jib. Even with just the main, we were making 5 - 6 knots. After lunch we noticed two different cruise ships going by. I hailed the Caribbean Princes, asking for some up-to-date weather. The lady operator told me it was going to be much the same. I truly did not know what that meant. So, I called the Aida Mar ship and they were kind enough to tell me a forecast. They were calling for 3-4 meter waves and we certainly got them. We also noticed with the waves washing over the main cabin windows, there was some leakage. We cleaned everything off and put some towels by the window pane to absorb any more salt water that came thru. Then Mark decided in 20 knots winds and huge seas, to go up on the deck, clean off the salt water and dry the bottom edge of the windows. He then applied some tape to prevent more salt water from coming in. Everything is protected now. Also, we have a lot of wet clothing because the spray soaked thru our clothes. I washed some and hung out on the back life line but the spray hit them repeatedly. Finally just took some of the clothes in and hung them around to dry. Mark found the panels that I made that zip into the edge of the bimini and connect with snaps onto the cabin top. This will keep the spray out of the cockpit and shelter us from the winds at night. It's a difficult task to walk around when the salt spray is everywhere. Thankfully, we have not fallen. The big waves of water were much like high mountain tops with white spray that looks like snow on top. As they come close to our boat, they seem to elevate. Our pictures do not do them justice. Mark sent an email via sail mail to our agent in Panama. We are expecting to be in Panama by the 19th and thru Christmas.