To Azores Day 14

Monday August 7

Day 14 to Horta…a new day a new storm. This one has teeth and seems even angrier than the last ten of them.

We took the 3 largest rogue waves of our lives today…they weren’t rogue, we were. We’re experiencing a malfunction in the windward Monitor steering, it keeps popping out of the cam-cleat. It now has to be tied off at the tiller…hmm.

Dena’s overnight watch…maybe

9:13 pm: Halfway There Day wasn’t the celebration I’d hoped for. I’d thought about a special snack and a special dinner (it’s all about the food), but we didn’t make any dinner at all.

We hit noon under yankee alone, and that pulled out maybe 20%. By 4pm, the waves had grown to match the heavy wind. We sat quietly, listening for trouble and disciplining ourselves to calm. Anxiety can be exhausting. An hour after that, I swapped the hanky-yankee for a napkin of staysail.

Lovebot was getting overwhelmed by the way the waves pushed us around, and a particularly nasty one pried open every possible opening to inundate the interior. Yep, we got splashed inside the boat.

We took three of those, actually, over several hours. Beluga Greyfinger was on my lap for one of them and I had to hold him tightly in mid-air to keep him from scratching me up. Poor salty kitty!

We’re all now salty to the max and hoping for some settled weather after this passes over. Salt attracts moisture, so it’ll feel wet aboard until we can do a general cleaning. Vinegar water for the melamine and Murphy’s for the wood. Laundering the towels we stopped it all up with will have to wait for the Azores.

I barely convinced James to go to bed. I’m to wake him in 3 hours and let him know how it’s going. That is, if I don’t need to get him up to spot me on a trip into the cockpit. My profound hope is that I don’t need to do anything between now and then, and he can finish what is supposed to be his off night.

Tuesday August 8

6:04 am: Not only did I convince James to keep sleeping, I got some good naps in too! The stress level is way down.

The wind changed directions and I had to gybe just after midnight. It died down as the night wore on. I waited until it got light out and swapped the tiny amount of staysail for the full yankee. I’ll raise the main in a few more hours if the wind stays the same.

James’ 9-10 am watch:

Sooo, that was our first real gale in a while. This morning is beautiful in every way that surviving that kind of event always is…the sky is blue’r, the ocean is huge but less angry somehow and we are here…still.

The gale ate right through the windward control line on Lovebot. hell of a storm!

We’re lucky that it chafed in a place we could repair so easily. It could have been much worse!

The Gerry Rig that got us there

Dena put the fix on it and we are totally back under Lovebot’s capable helm.


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