Atlantic crossing - day 18, Mon 6th Dec
Phew what an exciting and demanding few days. We completed chunk 6 this morning. 367.8 miles closer to our destination, with runs of 116.1, 119.9 and 131.8 which we are pleased with. Now 138.9 to the finish line. We carried on with squalls into Sunday at times we had to drop the hanked on headsail and carry on with the Genoa. We spoke to Cajuna who are travelling slowly as they have a load of fishing gear round their prop and must try to minimise damage. Sunday night the winds were 30+ again, with the associated big seas. There is no log book entry from 18.11 on Sunday until 10.58 today. That tells a story, it has been tricky. We had great winds yesterday evening and reset the twin headsails. However, winds got up to 40 knots in the night and we were totally overpowered. It felt that we were losing control, at times as if we had lost control. Given the direction we wanted to sail in we had to drop the hanked sail (in the pitch dark), onto the deck. It was pretty scary on the deck I can tell you. We sailed on under a small Genoa. Daybreak confirmed no improvement, but things are now down to 25-30 knots. We only got the sail off the foredeck an hour ago, and put the pole away. Schoolgirl error this morning when the waves were massive we realised one hatch was open a bit. You would not believe how much water came into the main saloon. Then when we dropped the headssail we dropped it into the fore cabin, to avoid wrestling it along the deck. Yet another soaked bit of boat. However, the sun is out and we are now steadier. We are close to Yachts Papaki and Orion, so said hello. If the weather stays okay we could get to St. George’s harbour tomorrow early evening. We need to clear public health before we can leave the boat so that is likely to be Tuesday. We just want to finish safely, have a shower, a very long sleep, and visit a pub. Not necessarily in that order. According to the log we have chalked up almost 6000 miles since leaving Oban, we need to check that but wow!!!! If that is correct. Many hard earned but all great fun, even the ones that made me cry. Fingers crossed we make it safely. Shallow waters, rocks, boat traffic, and lots of hazards we have not seen for some months to negotiate before we get safely tied up. Will keep you posted.