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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Better today

That was quite a day yesterday. In the afternoon the wind was up to 30 kts with gusts probably in the 35 kt range. I was off watch and we had the boat steering itself (just using the sails and rudder to keep us sailing reletive to the wind). We were making good progress but by about 1400 we were crashing off of some of the waves very hard and I begged Linda to let me make a change to the sails (she would rather put up with the pounding if the boat is not having problems sailing itself). I rolled up the jib, eased the main and staysail and set the autopilot to put us on a close reach. What a difference! We stopped crashing down off the waves immediately. Luckily the wind was more to the north so we were still making desired course at a good speed.

After sunset the wind and waves subsided and we were able to set more sail only to be headed (the wind shifted more onto our bow) at about 2200 when Linda had quite a bit of work to get the autopilot to steer us again.

This morning we're back to sailing with just the sails and rudder steering (no autopilot) and are just barely making our course. The good thing is the wind is down to about 18 kts and we're not pounding. Hopefully once we get South of 10 North the wind will shift into the North more and we can get a little more Easting before the equator.

As of 0800 4/8/2010 we've made good 520 nm with 1490 left to go.