Blog Post 11 by Jon Sanders: Downwind to the British Island
Perie Banou 2, with me, is tracking well. Going north-west to the British Island of Saint Helena.
After three days of very quiet – unusual – weather, I found the regular SE Trade Wind. (SE 18/22 kts).
Reef in mainsail and snippet of jib. My usual cruising rig downwind. Very comfortable.
Every now and again a rain squall. 25/30 kts (means knots or nautical miles). Does not last long. If it did, I would want to shorten sail more.
With the minor squalls often comes a temporary wind change. (40 degrees). The squalls last, maybe, half an hour. Mostly in the afternoon and night.
Did you read all that? Of course you did…
I actually typed that (with one finger) whilst it was happening.
Got the squall, got the wind shift, came back on course, (I didn’t get it right).
Wind got stronger. 30/35 kts. (Downwind).
Better put 2nd reef in. Can’t last long. (It did).
While putting 2nd reef in, the wind got stronger. I realised, with great wisdom, I needed to put the 3rd deep reef into the mainsail.
I am wearing boxer shorts and T-Shirt.
Sore ribs started getting sorer. Got the 3rd reef tied in. Not neat but OK and I am sopping wet. (Still in the cold current).
I did not expect this sudden weather change. In hindsight, it would have been smarter to drop the mainsail, furl onto the boom and run with only the furling jib. The easy thing to do.
I wondered how the boys behind were going in their Swarbrick 27 Liberdade.
They, like I, always have a drogue and line ready to tow astern (to help to steer and prevent broach) in downwind gales. (Was not needed, but was there).
Wind blew to 40 kts all night.
Next day and well into the night 25/35 SE – downwind.
Now and again the yacht would surf or surge on a breaking wave. Sometimes the crest would break all over. (Deck wash).
Took its time, the wind moderated to a normal 18/22 kts trade wind.
I kept the 3 deep reefs. (Jib furled). Because the sea was slow to become less.
Like this, I would not tweak the ribs. They are getting better and better.
Where did all that weather come from? I don’t know. None of it was according to plan. Barometer high, 1018.
You get that.
Hmmmm less wind…
The brats behind, (oops sorry, I mean Trevor and Rhys, the young guys with 100% genuine dinky-Di Australian accents and their Liberdade (Swarbrick 27. – SS27). Probably 40 years old – the boat I mean. And despite carbon fibre masts, carbon fibre sails, carbon fibre hulls (Wild Oats, Maserati, Leopard, Scarlett Runner, and Mrs Gina Rinehart) – they had worked for Mrs Rinehart.
Will now be cramming their mainsail to the full and polling out their biggest Genoa.
The “27” ain’t all that slow.
They know who is in front.
Makes me feel, like an ageing oriental, too scared to save face.
Stuff my ribs!
At 2 in the morning, I increased my mainsail.
Where the heck are they?
Kindest regards to all