Day 4, 5, 6 ‘Huge Storm/Gale” Passage to South Africa
Yesterday evening at the end of my watch I could see on the horizon a large dark blue could that was low to the water. As we approach this large front I noticed a large gray iron ring projecting out from the dense areas of the approaching storm. I decided based on the movement of our past few storms that the front was moving from north to south. We were approaching from the east heading west into this system that was flashing lots of lightening and you could thunder. I decided to drop sail and reef to a triple mainsail, and hoisted our storm staysail. I then had Jade reach almost due north and slow us down to about 2 knots allowing the bulk of storm to move south so I thought. As the lightening and thunder increased and the front approached closer I decided to tack to the north east allowing us to get more north and away from the approaching storm because I thought I could see the back side of the system. Right after we tacked a rush of ice cold air like entering into a department store from out of the summer heat into AC. The wind was ice cold and then it began to blow. It reached up to 40 knots in less then a minute. Dragonsbane had her rail underwater and the waves began crashing over the deck. Then the rain came in buckets and whited out the air with cracks of thunder and bright lightening. I relieved Jade from the Helm and turn up into the wind pinching as hard as I could but still keeping us moving forward at 3 knots. The spray from the waves was blinding our sight and the wind began to spin 90 degrees to port then to Starboard making it very hard to keep Dragonsbane under control. We continued like this for 1 hour and finally the wind began to lesson down to 30 knots. But the rain, thunder and lightening lasted for 4 more hours. Eventually the wind dead off to 5 knots on the nose and we have been motoring sense. Everybody is doing well and sense we have been motoring we caught another Maha Maha weighting in at 22 pounds.
Day 5 & 6 has been a mix of 20 to 30 knots winds. Current we are in a full on southerly Gale sailing hard at 8 knots full reefed.
FYI it has been very difficult to send blog post via SSB radio so I may miss a few days.
Current Position: UTC 19:10,26-10-14, 27deg 34.8min South, 42deg 53.6min East, SOG 8kts, COG 300deg-M, 1022MB, WS 35kts