Saturday, June 1, 2013

The agony of light wind

Last night was brutal - sailed right into a hole that lasted for about 4.5 hours. I was able to keep the boat moving a little bit but lost a ton of ground to the competition. The boats to the north of me in particular, Pathways to Children, Spirit and Tamarind, caught some terrific breeze as the approaching front line is hitting them first. They've had 15 knots all afternoon while I've been lucky to get 8 or 9. Hopefully the forecast will come true and my breeze will build through the evening, hitting 20 knots by dawn.

I spent a bunch of time preparing the boat for the onslaught of wind that's coming this way. Sustained breeze in the 30s is forecasted for Sunday night which means I'll probably see gusts into the 40s. The two storms I hit on the delivery were both behind me but this one will be on my beam with a southerly wind while I try to work west. Jeroboam doesn't have a great track record this spring taking big seas beam on so I've been preparing for a very wet night tomorrow evening.

I got to go up the mast twice today. What a delight. The first time because I noticed one of the screws holding the steaming light to the mast was missing and the light was ajar, banging against the mast as the boat lurched around. Then later, when I was doing a spinnaker takedown, I foolishly let the halyard get away from me. There was a mild swell but very little chop so the climbs weren't too difficult.


  1. Hey Jonathon,

    I read you blog each day and thought you might like to receive a word of thanks for your effort. Your daily postings about the OSTAR race add a touch of realism to my following the race on the RWYC website.

    You encountered heavy weather on the way to the Azores and now have that experience to boost your confidence to help cope in the future. Reduce sail early, after all you are currently Jester class leader.

    Good luck and thanks,

  2. Paul, glad you're enjoying the commentary and thanks for following along. It's been a grueling race - an experience I'll never forget. If this is Paul from Ninjod, I'm very sorry you weren't able to make it to the starting line this year. It was also heartbreaking to see Kass Schmit drop out as time ran too short for prep. Getting to the starting line truly is a race in and of itself, filled with challenges and hurdles just as large as I'm facing now in the North Atlantic.