Just a quick update as the new breeze starts filling in. I managed to just barely get to the north side of this low, helped by the fact that it tracked slightly further south than forecasted yesterday. We'll see where I actually wind up but all the signs are pointing to a good position on the race course.
I spent the morning preparing for the onslaught:
-Storm staysail is rigged and lashed to the foredeck, ready to go
-Batteries fully charged
-Ran the watermaker for a while so have plenty in reserve for the next 48 hours
-Pulled out my mini staysail in case the storm staysail is too large - unlikely that I'll need it but have it handy just in case.
-Staged the rigging for the whisker pole. There will be some downwind action that's too much for the spinnaker so I'll probably end up with a poled out jib for a while this afternoon and tonight before the wind starts to shift to the NE
-I heard the familiar snap snap snap of a loose belt on the engine while charging batteries. The old one was just about to go and there was a lot of belt dust in the engine compartment. That belt didn't have many hours on it at all so I was a little surprised to see it so worn. Got a new belt on and cleaned out all the dust from the old one.
-Cleaned up all the running rigging and prepared for bow to stern waves knocking it all overboard. Lashed down everything that I wasn't anticipating using in the 24 hours.
-Squared away the cabin, stowed everything not in immediate use and lashed down anything that might sprout wings in the rough seas ahead.
-Ate a big breakfast and a couple of lunches
I saw a large group of pilot whales this morning. From a distance I thought they were dolphins but as they got closer, they were clearly larger then one broke high and close enough for me to see his tell tail bulbous head. They were pretty shy so kept their distance. I'd never seen that many in group before - counted about 20 although it's tough to know if you've already counted them once because they keep dipping below then surfacing at not so regular intervals. There were a couple babies in with them but mostly adults. I'd seen quite a few pilot whales along the coast of Nova Scotia when I was there about eight years ago but really just in pairs, not as a big group like this.