Squally, Squally Nights--Day 14
23 April 2012 | 9 Degrees North of Equator
This last 24 hours has been like a ride at Disneyland, thank goodness not a coaster at Magic Mountain. The big headsail was pulled down as the squall lines appeared on the eastern horizon. NOAA weather had called for a trough of unstable air between 10-12 degrees N, and East of 125, which should have put us out of range, but these forecasts are like any other weather forecast, not perfect. So batten down the hatches, put on the foulies and bring it on!
Winds built to a steady 20-25 knots out of the NE, luckily we are on a broad reach, so the wind is at our stern, making for a fast downhill run. We clocked wind gusts of about 40, but didn't last long. These occurred as the squall lines moved through. Needless to say, nobody got a good nights rest, as we reefed down, let em out, and then did it all over again a few times. At one point the boat was sailing over 9 knots, which is way above its theoretical hull speed of about 7.5, definitely, surfing down the swells, Paul has that record, but Pete is right behind sailing at about 8.75 knots. I'm sure this will be our fastest 24 hour run to date, we've had one of 152, but this one could be closer to 160.
The decks finally got the bath they needed to wash all the salt that had accumulated since leaving Ventura. The rains went off and on through most of the night, down below has been dry for the most part, except for a few spots here and there. Now we just need some warm tropical sun to dry out our rain gear and towels.
Tomorrow we do the ITCZ dance. John