THE DOLDRUM DANCE (and Im not even in the Doldrums!)
07 May 2012 | On the way to the Caribbean
Yesterday, mid afternoon, the winds are light, then lighter, flogging in the main, it comes down. Mid evening brings even lighter winds, the autopilot complains, we are losing direction, down comes the jib. Drifting. Ah, a little sleep. My head hits the pillow - what do I hear? A few drops of rain, then more, more, then a deluge. All is black, cant see a thing. Radar shows storm encircling the boat - the dreaded squall. 20-25 knots sustained now - let it be short before it damages that nice, quiet surface. And then, Shearwater starts to lurch as the seas mount and slam into her side - bang, crash. Cant put the jib up now, in these winds, pitch black and heavy rain...sleep sleep, forget it, no use. 2AM, a respite, winds down to 10. Out of bed and to the front, up goes the jib-just in time, winds back up to 20 plus. We are off! But oh that rain! In the squall's wake, a jumbled and rough sea. Sleep finally. Morning comes, wind has lessened, now the main? Yes! Up it goes. One hour later, down it comes, wind too light-flog flog flog. Only jib now...whats the next step?
Lets see...yes, here it is - next is no wind, then jib down, then rain and then squall...that should take us to midafternoon.