There is a truism in passage making that it–where “it” is a place holder for trying weather-related moments of all kinds—only happens at night. That this is a truism should not dissuade of its veracity.
Midnight: stung by the previous night’s escapades, I refused to be duped when, on my watch, winds went from 23 to 15 to 11 from the W. I let Mo slouch on at 2.9 knots under triple reefs for two hours and until I could be sure this diminution was no flash in the pan. Even then I was conservative and went to single reefs instead of letting all fly. By the time Harmon came on watch at 4am, winds were back to 20; we put in a reef. By the time I returned to the cockpit, they were flirting with 25.
“This sequence seems familiar,” shouted Harmon from his position at the main sheet. He was visible only as a sharp point of light emanating from his head. Rain sparkled in the beam.
Instead of waiting, I simply turned back to the mast and returned the triples taken we had just taken out.
On that configuration and winds of 20 – 25 we logged our best day yet—156 miles. After the 4am episode, we did not touch a sheet or brace until letting out a little sail twelve hours later.
For the second time this leg, Harmon has made for dinner what he calls ramen. I associate ramen with cheap noodles served in a Styrofoam cup. This is not Harmon’s ramen, which was a thing of wonder. Then this morning, pancakes.
Frequently after a Figure 8 talk some young woman from the audience will suggest that though the endeavor was interesting enough, grand enough, what strikes her is that I should really up my at-sea food game. The whole Figure 8, and all she wants is that I have soufflés at 8pm. No soufflés this trip, but the food is worth writing home about.