More Squalls and a Turning Point
18 April 2007 | 600 miles SE of Bermuda
Overnight, we are making good way beating into 20 knots of wind. Got the weather info at 0200 -- showing a frontal line ahead of us. Then a black squall caught me off guard, and by the time I was suited up and trying to roll up the jib, the wind was blowing 36 knots. Robin came out to help as I struggled with ther roller furling. Robin said she thought the jib was torn; there was a mass of material hanging from the sheet visible in the rain and darkness.
It turns out that the jib sheets have completely tied themselves into knots, leaving a massive monkeys fist of knotted rope hanging from the jib. Spent 45 minutes on the foredeck after the worst of the squall, undoing the tangle. Still, it is better than a torn jib. Rolled up the jib 2/3 ahead of the next squall, which was not as bad, and left the jib that way, jogging along comfortably all day in 25-30 knots of wind.
By the afternoon, the weather lifts and clears, and a longtail visits us.
We had very weak contact with Herb Hilgenburg, who told us that we should stay south of 25N, that in a few days we would have northeast winds, which we would appreciate as we approached the Bahamas. Herb does not seem to understand that we are trying to go to Bermuda. I tell him "our destination is Bermuda, not Bahamas" but conditions are poor.
We decide it is time to turn towads Bermuda. Strong southwesterly winds mean a couple of days of reaching before the winds turn northwest and northerly, as a nice high pressure system is forecast to move into Bermuda -- good weather to make our landfall.
The evening upper level weather fax looks beautiful -- the pattern that had been generating low pressure systems was changing to a fair weather pattern. I am very relieved, I feel we have made it past another danger point on this trip -- we should be able to avoid any real storms on our way into Bermuda.
At 1930, a large bird of prey -- a land bird -- circles and circles our boat, trying to perch on the masthead or shrouds. We guess he has been blown offshore in the storm and is looking for a tree. Robin tries to fashion a perch for him with the boathook, but he does not land.