21 May 2019 | 38:25N 029:20W
Trip:1745 Distance to Waypoint 35; Bearing to Waypoint 080deg 38deg 25'N 029deg 20'W COG: 080 SOG:5.4 Wind W f4
Boat time 08:00 (UT-3)
Day 15 at sea
Bacon sandwich time
Well we had more of the same throughout the day, mackerel skies and mares tails off and on mixed with 8/8th cloud cover that came and went. threatening to be the front.
Noon, from the forecasts we are expecting the low to be on us sometime late afternoon. We are awaiting the the warm front to hit with strong winds and rain.
14:00 i look out the companion way, patched of blue sky above through the thin alto stratus clouds above us and to port, behind to the west and south thickening cloud rapidly approaching.
14:30 check outside again, the blue sky above is being lost to thickening altostratus cloud, getting thicker astern of us, then a wall of nimbo stratus from sea level reaching up into the sky. Nominal wind speed now 20-22kts gusting 25kts. This is it coming!
I kit up with full foul weather gear to go out in to the cockpit to be prepared to alter course down wind to reduce the apparent wind speed over the deck. By the time I have kited up and am on deck, we have clear blue sky overhead and all around, with just the odd wisp of wisp of cloud. Falling astern and to port the bank of menacing cloud is retreating, passing us by astern going NNE. but there is another bank of cloud on the horizon to windward on the starboard side.
What is happening, what has just happened, has the front and the storm passed us by. We shall just have to wait and see how this pans out, but for now we have a stay of execution.
Not for long; 15:00; The wind has now veered to SSW and increased to force 6, that was the warm front passing, we have borne away down wind a bit now heading for our destination; masking 5-6kts in 20-25kts of true wind the apparent wind over the deck is 15-18kts, and the waves on our starboard quarter, the motion of Cerulean being quite reasonable considering. We sailed on thus for the next making reasonable progress covering 52NM in eight and a half hours, At 22000 the 16m Sailing yacht Tauranga passed us within less than 500m, a bit of a tense time. By 22:30 the wind was 34kts plus, gusting up to 38kts, Force 8 gale for an hour. 23:00 the wind veered as if in an instant to the to the north west, 90 degree, as the cold front passed over bringing with it torrential rain, and we both had to get our waterproofs on and gybe the boat round to get us back on course. Wind still blowing force 6 for further hour and a half until 01:30 the wind disappeared to NW force 2, not enough us to make an attempt at sailing, so the engine on and I went back to bed whilst Alison took watch her watch.
At 03:00 the wind went back round to the SE blowing f4. Alison tried pulling out the staysail, but with the wind astern it would not fill properly and then she noticed that the lower starboard shroud (D1) had pulled a strand at the top terminal, this is potentially a nasty situation, we could loose the rig. We immediately furled the staysail an headed into wind and dropped the main to take load off the rigging. I have jury rigged a stay using the downhaul/uphaul line for the whisker pole car on the front of the mast, it is just above the terminal for the D1 shroud. and have sweated it down with a short length of rope to the turnbuckle, I hope that will hold. We still have the storm jib flying from the secondary forestay on the port tack to steady the boat a bit as there is a 3-4m swell running. It is a pity we cannot sail, as there is a nice W f4-5, but as we are in easy motoring distance of Horta only 50NM to go it is not worth risk of loosing the mast for.
We had a few rain squalls pass by at dawn but now we have Cerulean blue skies with a few fair weather cumulus floating by, and all looking well to windward.
Thus we have been motoring since 05:00, now only 10NM to go, 2 hours or so.
The majestic towering mountains of Faial loomed out of the murk at about 10:00
Richard and Alison yacht Cerulean of Penryn
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