Day 13 - Another Crazy Night...Thunderstorm

Position: N 34° 39' W 061° 21' UTC 1840

Nautical miles left: 1591

Two days ago when I sat on my night watch and saw a star falling, I wished for more winds. That I have regretted a thousand times already. First we had our little misfortune with the sails the other day. Last night we had our second bad weather experience. I think that we all were a little bit tired after being up late the night before, cause all we seemed to do during the day was sleeping. Catrine made an impressive effort though and baked bread. Right now our breakfast is down to porridge or damp hard bread, so it was really welcomed. Usually we watch one or two episodes of Sex and the city during the evening, but not yesterday. We all went to bed early. Somewhere around 21.00, still half awake, still half asleep I could hear Sofia and Catrine discussing the lightening outside and whether it was getting closer or not. After a while I heard them unloosen the grab-bag and put the satellite phone in the oven. After that it was quite hard to go back to sleep, but since it seemed so cold outside the duvet I stayed in bed and tried to close my eyes. An hour past by and nothing seemed to happen and Catrine also went to bed. I could still hear Sofia walking on and of in the boat. I realized that I weren't going to be able to fall a sleep again so I decided to make Sofia company instead. The rain was pouring down outside so we sat down in the saloon. We counted seconds between the lightening and the thunderclap and it seemed to still be quite far away. I guess we were wrong. All of a sudden we heard the sails starting to flap. The wind direction had rapidly changed from SW to NE making it really hard for the monitor to understand what to do. We rushed out in to the cockpit and tried to un connect the monitor, by loosen a little screw on the steering wheel, but it seemed to be stuck. The thunderstorm seemed to get closer and closer for every second, and the wind picked up even more. The rain and waves seemed to take every chance to try and find it's way inside my sailing jacket and rubber boots making me soaking wet. We quickly decided that we had to try and disengage the ropes to the monitor instead. After what seemed like forever, with the rain lashing, boat being thrown from one side to the other and nothing but the lightening to light up the cockpit, we managed to get it of. My heart was now pounding faster and faster and I grabbed the steering wheel. Trying to steer the boat in to the wind so that we could reef the sails. Maria and Catrine had at this point waken up and Maria got out in the cockpit to give us a hand. When the sails were reefed Sofia went up one foredeck to sort out the sheets of the headsails. She then noticed that the headsail halyard had felled into the water and got caught in the Duogen (our water/wind generator that was in water mode). Once again we had to get up into the wind and try to pull the Duogen out of the water to untangle the halyard. Not as easy as it sounds when the boat is bouncing up and down in the waves. With good teamwork we somehow made it work anyway. Everything now seemed to be under control again, but we were still in the middle of the thunderstorm so we decided that both me and Sofia should stay up on watch. Maria and Catrine went down to try and get some sleep. Both still wet and cold me and Sofia took turns on the steering wheel. Since the wind still were blowing from a north-easterly direction we had to beat our way forward. Finally at around 2.00, the thunderstorm seemed to loosen it's grip on us, and we could see some stars in the sky. When we woke up Maria at around 3.00 the sky was starry, but we could still see the lightening in the distance. Me and Sofia had just went down in the cockpit and began to get out of our wet clothes when we heard Maria shouting from the cockpit. As if the thunderstorm wasn't enough our GPS had now decided to give in. Luckily we have borrowed a spare hand held GPS from my boyfriend that we will use from now on. Not a good night at all. A really crappy one actually. But we are all alright and now resting from last nights adventures, getting the boat in order again, steering easterly and trying to dry our clothes. Luckily it looks like we have at least 2 days now with calm weather before a low strikes us on Thursday. I guess it is going to be an other adventure to write about then. This time at least we will be prepared for it.

LOVE/ deckhand Emelie

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  1. Anonymous Says:

    Åh vad det är spännande att läsa! Tänker på er massor! PUss puss till er alla ombord från Cissi