Friday, June 14, 2013

Into the Next Breeze

I had a brilliant run last night of surfing down some monsters and hitting double digit speeds regularly on the wave face. One momentarily registered 15.4 knots! That could be a record for this boat. I also played around with some of the autopilot settings and improved downwind performance considerably. It was very nice not having to stand at the helm all night. After pouring over the manual last night I have some ideas on further refinement I'll try out tonight.

The breeze gradually petered out this morning leaving me to wrestle with light and fluky wind this afternoon. I managed to find a few puffs and had the benefit of 1-1.5 knots of favorable current so I think I made the most of it. The new breeze has filled in and is building to what is forecasted to be another nice downwind run for the next 12 hours, then lighten up and shift to the north for about 12 hours of beam reaching. Should be a fun 24 hours ahead.

The biggest news of the day was that I was able to confirm the sun still exists. I actually saw it with my own eyes for an hour this morning, it's first appearance in about a week. It wasn't enough for the cabin to dry out but I'll take it. Then, to remind me I'm in Canada, it poured for an hour while I was trying to dry out one of the staysails not in use. Maybe it's me. The weather in the Azores was horrible, Plymouth was worse and now the Canadian Maritimes are trying to out do them both. It's following me around.


  1. Jonathan - you're having an incredible race. Very impressive. Keep it up! Two mundane questions for you. I'm curious what your sail inventory is like for this race versus some of your other exploits. Also, you mention poring over the autopilot manual. Do you keep manuals in hard copy or electronic version onboard? Weight versus reliability I guess. I was thinking of putting everything on an e-reader device myself. Cheers, Piper

  2. Thanks Mike, I certainly will. This is the final push and I'm not letting up one bit.

    The sail inventory is essentially the same as other races but with more redundancy. Normally I'd only carry one jib for the furler but I've got two in case I destroy my primary (the delivery jib was the third but that went in the dumpster in Plymouth as it was well beyond its useful life). I also beefed up my staysail inventory to give me some more sail combination/diversity without the
    rating hit. I have a large reaching staysail I use with the asym in light air, a large genoa staysail I use with the jib when close reaching in light air, a smaller, all purpose high clewed staysail which also serves as a heavy weather staysail and a small storm staysail. I found plenty of opportunities to mess around with these in varying conditions and combinations and saw some good performance improvements. All but one of these I picked up used; all good investments.

    For boat documentation, it's all electronic, stored on Dropbox and synced with my boat laptop, iPad and phone so there are redundancies in case one goes down. It took a while tracking down electronic PDFs of all the manuals, or if unavailable, scanning to a PDF, but it's been great to get all that weight off the boat. It's also so much more useful electronically as you can do searches
    for topics in question and find the info you need much faster. Your e-reader idea should work fine but consider Dropbox or some similar cloud based solution to which you can sync multiple devices. I'll be back in Marblehead in early July and can show you my setup then if you like. Also, invite me out for a sail on your new boat - I'd love to check it out!