The Definition of Unsettled Weather

December 22, 2018

Day 79

Noon Position: 43 05S 02 45W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 5

Wind(t/tws): WxN 25 (40 in squalls)

Sea(t/ft): W 10 – 12

Sky: Clear, then squalls

10ths Cloud Cover: 8

Bar(mb): 1000

Cabin Temp(f): 61

Water Temp(f): 50

Relative Humidity(%): 69

Sail: Working jib full or reefs, depending on squalls

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 151

Miles since departure: 10,668

Avg. Miles/Day: 135

Winds were 35 gusting 45 by 3am. I’d gotten enough sleep early and didn’t mind being up, and dawn was on the make, so I could see. By 6am, winds had backed off into the high twenties, but the seas that filled in were tremendous. High and fast with here and there a gray beard casting his top third forward into a thundering, heavy, mash-you-up break.

Mo was caught only once, and as luck would have it, I was standing on the stern, holding fast to the radar arch when the wave piled up on her starboard quarter and then laid into her. She went over to the windows and scooped water into the cockpit. So, that’s what it looks like, I thought.

Below I found that the scissors had been flung across the cabin, but my grippy coffee cup hadn’t moved, so I guess the throw wasn’t that bad.

The day has been sunny but filled with aggravation. Mo rolls so terribly in this chaos of a sea; gunnel to gunnel, over and over with no pause. And though we have a very nice westerly at 25 knots, we are also getting raked by squalls every hour with heavy rain and winds to 45 knots. I’m having to run conservative sail, and even at that, I dash on deck when I hear rain to roll up more.

One fun exercise: my first sun sights since December 4th. Taking a sight in such seas and a heaving vessel is a challenge, so I was pleased to find the work showed where we were. I’m pointing to where we are in the photo. See?

A low develops right under us tonight. We’ll have 35 and 40 starting around midnight and through as long as noon tomorrow. The sea that’s running is already mature, so it could be a rough go.

6 Comments on “The Definition of Unsettled Weather

  1. Your courage is remarkable. Stay strong and focused. Thank you so much for the posts. I feel connected to your journey; we are near in age, I sail on Flathead lake. The remarkable progress with electronic tracking we have seen in our lives is my reward. I will keep up.

  2. It Christmas eve here in NC … hope you are safe and warm with DRY socks!! Weather permitting, hope you can enjoy an extra beer or two to celebrate!

    Really enjoy your posts and look forward to them every day.

    Take care… see you again tomorrow.

    Steve Grant

  3. When i read your daily updates and think about the immensity of your journey I’m reminded of the saying “How does a man eat a whale? One bite at a time.” I hope this finds you enjoying a holiday feast bite. Thank you for taking me along on a journey that stretches my imagination while also encouraging me work harder to achieve my own personal goals.

    Mike Luxton

  4. I am daily following along your courageous journey through the seas. I am always glad to read/see/trying to imagine/learn from you and your experiences.
    Merry Christmas Randall! And great you have this nice green card accompanying on Mo!
    The best wishes to you!!
    Constantin from Berlin

  5. Happy Christmas Randall. You’re doing a great job. I’m currently preparing my Christmas roundup of favourite inks for 2018. I’ll give you one guess for which ink gets top spot? Fondest wishes from your UK fan base! Nick

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