Morning After
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Morning After

Morning After

Morning After

Sensing something was not right last night around midnight, I threw back the companionway hatch and the wind literally exploded in my face.

40 knots. Apparent that is. 46+ true.

Under clear moonlit skies no less meaning all 46 were here to stay. It took me until 0330 to figure out what to do with Seaburban. The wind hovered around 38 with long sustained spells at 40 and 45 apparent. When the clouds and showers finally arrived, gusts were 50+.

No matter how much sail I set or where it was set, the Monitor just could not pull us back on course after the waves and swell knocked us off. We would either tear off in a close reach, lee rail under and the secondary north swell beating a tattoo on our beam, or fall off and end up backsides, the rig shaking like an autumn leaf being hounded by an eager groundskeeper with a high-powered blower. In the end, it was the Solent sheets amidships with barely more than the clew showing and the Monitor set to steer about 15 degrees up from dead down wind.

This morning right before I took these pictures, we had 35 gusting 42. Shortly after, With a 4th reef in the  Solent, we were off to the races and back in business.

Where the 45+ came from last night, only Neptune knows. John had warned about extreme gusts in showers and when I came on deck to nary a cloud, I knew we were in for it.

Today has been a mixed bag but the sun was a welcome sight. How long has it been since I’ve seen the sun I couldn’t say. Any sun we’ve had lately has been peeking through fleeting breaks in the clouds. My navigation reflects the lack of usable sun and rough conditions. I figure my position might be as much as 25 miles out.

Last night already seems a distant memory albeit firmly etched in my mind. Why I struggled so will haunt me every time I see 40 knots in the forecast. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen for a while and if it must, let’s hope for somewhere where the waves aren’t bigger than apartment buildings.

Follow my tracks in real-time: