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Sun Nov 8 0:02:00 EST 2009

While we continue working on the boat, other people are sailing :). The picture is of a 49er--a class of boats--that has just set its spinnaker (the dark sail). South American 49er races were held in Uruguay last weekend, and we had a good view of the boats leaving and entering the harbor before and after their races.

Sun Nov 8 0:01:00 EST 2009

49er tacking.

Sun Nov 8 0:00:00 EST 2009

49er entering harbor, before tacking.

Thu Oct 29 16:25:11 EDT 2009, Montevideo, Uruguay

We've been busy working on a bunch of projects on the boat. Nothing really exicting, just a bunch of stuff that needs doing.

Tied up next to us on the dock is one of the Montevideo Pilot boats (pilots go out to meet big ships at sea, board the ships and help them into the port). The platform on the top of the boat is to allow the pilot to step off the boat and onto the boarding ladder of the ship.

Today was a pleasant, sunny, 30 degree (86 degrees Fahrenheit) day, and there was a photo shoot on the pilot boat. It seemed to warrant a picture (perhaps this just means I've been on a boat too long :) ).

The Case For Roller-Reefing
Tue Oct 27 0:00:00 EDT 2009, Atlantic Ocean

This is the first boat I've done much sailing on that had roller reefing (sails that roll in and out by pulling on ropes from the cockpit instead of going forward and raising and lowering them).

Previously, I did not think much of roller-reefing--it is expensive, complicated, adds windage and weight up high, and a big problem if it breaks. I discussed this with Yann, the previous owner, who said he wouldn't want to sail the boat without roller furling, due mostly to how wet one would have to get to handle the sails. At sea, you try to avoid getting wet as much as possible, because you often don't have dry clothes available to change into afterwards.

Now that I've sailed this boat a fair bit, I'm really glad it does have roller-reefing, despite the disadvantages mentioned above. Issuma goes to windward quickly enough that the foredeck (front of the boat) can be a very wet place, as seen in the picture, so being able to completely control the headsails from the cockpit is a really nice feature.

Sun Oct 25 6:38:56 EDT 2009, Montevideo, Uruguay

It seemed that almost every car in Montevideo was on the street last Sunday promoting the election to be held today.

Fri Oct 23 0:00:00 EDT 2009, Piriapolis, Uruguay

Ted steering off Piriapolis.

Thu Oct 22 0:00:00 EDT 2009, Piriapolis, Uruguay

Issuma at anchor off Piriapolis.

Thu Oct 22 8:13:28 EDT 2009 | George Ray
How is the new dingy working out? It looks like it gets a real workout in this anchorage. Did you keep the folding dingy?
Looks great!
Fri Oct 23 7:21:24 EDT 2009 | Richard Hudson
Thanks. The new dinghy is not working out yet...needs modification before it can be rowed usefully. The inflatable dinghy has several holes that are in the process of being patched. The folding dinghy is still the only one that gets used :).
Wed Oct 21 6:15:32 EDT 2009, Piriapolis, Uruguay

Piriapolis is a pretty resort town in Uruguay. It is popular among foreign yachts for its haulout facilities.

I stayed in Punta del Este for a day, where two of my new crew, Matt and Ted came aboard with the assistance of the ever-helpful Yacht Club Punta del Este. We then day-sailed in very pleasant weather to Piriapolis, then Montevideo (port of Buceo).

Sailing with experienced crew is a lot easier than singlehanding :).

Wed Oct 21 11:24:16 EDT 2009 | George Conk
Welcome to Matt & Ted.

Wish they had been there for the anchor flaling and the full force gale.

I suppose they'll have their chances in a maelstrom.
- George
Thu Oct 22 7:36:45 EDT 2009 | Richard Hudson
George, yes, crew would have been helpful during the gale and the anchor problems, and yes, I think they'll have their chance to see other gales.

Ben is now aboard also, so I have three crew!

A Full Gale
Mon Oct 12 0:00:00 EDT 2009

The picture is of the nice, downwind sailing conditions before the Force 9 (Severe Gale). I did not take the camera out or go to the bow while in the force 9 :).

After the anchor had been well-secured and I no longer had fears of it breaking loose, the forecast winds steadily increased. I was in deep water offshore, planning to cross the continental shelf (where the water is shallower) soon on the way to Rio de la Plata. The winds were forecast to be from behind me (NE) for a couple of days, strengthening to force 5, then 6, then 7. I felt it would be fine to be on the continental shelf for a force 7, but if it got to force 8 or above, it would be better to be in deep water, where the waves would be longer and less steep.

Despite really wanting to get into port quickly, I thought it would be prudent to stay in deep water in case the wind was higher than forecast. That was fortunate, as the forecast wind did increase to force 8 and 9 as the gale approached. The gale itself was force 9 for several hours, and force 8 for many more.

Gales are really not enjoyable...they are loud, wet and uncomfortable. I ran before the gale with a Galerider drogue, which is a kind of mesh bag that is designed to slow the boat down, not stop it. It was the first time I'd run before a real gale (previously I tended to heave-to), and the first time I'd tried using a drogue. It worked well enough, pulling the stern of the boat back when waves hit. Running before a gale seems to involve far more waves coming across the deck than heaving-to does, but seems a better way of handling bigger seas.

Everything on the boat held together, and after 18 hours the wind moderated and sailing became much more pleasant.

Mon Oct 19 14:42:35 EDT 2009 | yann
it seems that things are getting harder!!!

you can do it, and the boat can do it


Sun Oct 25 19:19:30 EDT 2009 | Paul Adison
Welcome Ben. Looking forward to following the trip.

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