It's been a very physically demanding day on the water. I've reefed/unreefed the main and jib about 10 or 12 times each and getting around the boat has been akin to rock climbing. Lots of wind strength changes today. After a week of 24/7 racing, my body is really starting to feel it and the advil is in high demand.
The sea state is all messed up from the last front and the new low to the NE. When it's this lumpy, it's impossible to keep the boat speed at targets and the autopilot doesn't do a great job holding a course so when close hauled, as I've been all day, I have to steer 10-15 degrees off just to keep the pilot from autotacking.
To add insult to injury, I'm in some lousy current and the wind is right on the nose but forecasted to shift a bit to the NE tonight so I'll tack at some point to get a better angle.
Tamarind keeps reeling me in which is very disheartening given the effort I've put in today. I'm really struggling to get the boat up to speed and make some ground in the right direction. These upwind races are brutal.
I just got a hail on the VHF from a ship, Federal Sable, who wanted to know what I was up to, what this race was and how I was doing. It was my first conversation with someone in a week and lifted my spirits after an ugly day. Thanks buddy!