Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bring that Beat Back

There's been no rest for the weary managing through the breeze transition last night and today. Just when I think I'm pushing the spinnaker too much and switch to double headsail reaching, the breeze slacks or shifts or both so get up there and set the kite again. This happened six times today. I've been pretty aggressive about carrying sail so I'm happy with the performance through the transition.

Now we're back to beating as two lows are forecasted to come rambling across the course. Both appear to be tracking way too far north to get on top of them for some downwind action so it will be a nice long beat all the way into the barn. 15-20 out of the SW is nothing to complain about though it will probably be lighter as we get in toward RI Sound. With less than 500 nm to go, this is the final push here at the end.

Earlier in the race, during some of the beating stretches, I noticed Pathways can hold a very tight angle, tighter than Spirit and certainly tighter than Jeroboam but I found that if I didn't pinch up too much, I wasn't keeping pace but I wasn't getting slaughtered either. Anyway, I'll do my best and see if I can at least stay in the same ballpark as these guys.

I got the boat all prepped for more beating: dried out the spin and staysails a little and stowed them, secured all the running rigging, aired out the cabin a little. I've been charging the batteries with the engine lately trying to run down some of this fuel on board to lighten up a little. I'll also be making less water each day as I work through the reserves. This boat definitely performs better light so I think every bit counts.

The sun made a number of appearances today and I'm hoping that as this SW breeze settles in, we'll have some milder temps. The fog just rolled back in but the sun is still shining. How does that work?

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