Santa Maria to Madeira Day 4

Thursday 5/2 Dena’s 1300-1400 watch A sudden increase from F3 to F4 needed another reef in the main and about 50% of the staysail rolled in. Feels good and balanced again, but the increased winds are starting to show in increased wind waves.  A directional change accompanied the increase, though, nicely southwest and now we’re not on a hard beat but a beam reach. I do prefer this, or a close reach, to a beat. In this amount of wind, a broad reach (with the wind abaft the beam) would be even more comfortable but weather can’t be begged or bribed. I’m eying a spot to the south where I can see it’s raining. I wouldn’t mind skipping that lashing. Dena’s 1900-2000 watch Since that last front passed, we are back to southerly winds, one reef in the mainsail and a full staysail. It seems to be the only way to power through and over the waves. We rarely drive the boat this hard and rarely allow it to do so much heeling, but we also rarely sail on a beat. The wind is supposed to turn further west and I hope that we will be able to broaden out then. It would be nice to get into a broad reach with the main sheeted out and the yankee rather than the staysail. It’s a strong point of sail and enough downwind that we’re not fighting the world. With the waves slightly abaft it can be a little bit wetter in the cockpit.  Speaking of wet, it did not rain on us. The weather passed by very near but we barely got any sprinkles. Friday 5/3 Whew! What a night. James broadened us out a bit to keep us on course, which put us a little bit more beam to[…]

Read more