And ruminates on forecasts, downhauls and changing headsails

“The Aussie weather text said strong South-West air stream almost on us, so
got ready and what does the wind do? Goes South-East! I’m very much like a
blindfolded man trying to box, I have no real idea of what wind is doing in
detail which is so vital for racing SAGA INSURANCE, so I am losing out in a
big way on the others.”

“Spent yesterday sailing under jib when I ought to have had a reacher set so
lost time there too, 20 miles on Unai. The South-Easterly veered round to
the South-West eventually and rose. They said the stream had eased to 25-30
knots but we recorded over 42 and it has been steady over 30 for a couple of
hours. Breaking waves with spindrift. In these conditions I know I can do
nothing else but run, and running goes east, so although it is
uncomfortable, and a gale always contains an
element of threat, this course is right for once. Took all the mainsail
down, thank goodness I had rigged a downhaul to the head. First time I have
had all the main down in anger therefore a Headland! Left the Solent up for
a while, but then that became too much and I set the storm jib and rolled
the Solent, not easy in that amount of wind, and fortunately it is a tough
sail. We need enough power to run these growing waves, but not too fast.
I’ve ballasted one of the aft tanks, which seems to help.”

“Wet on deck and pretty urgent, definitely safety harness conditions.
Watching the barometer make a cautious rise, with the hatch almost closed to
keep water and hail out – it would be lovely here but the noise of the wind
through the rigging now exceeds the rushing noise of water past the hull.
It is times like this you dream of a nice safe landlocked bedroom! Nothing
to do now bit lie on the deck so I can’t be thrown down any further, and

“With such a well stocked cellar it could be a problem deciding which bottle
to open next, but I have resolved that scientifically, I grab the first to
come to hand! Cold again so donned 2nd layer of Henri Lloyd clothing. The
instant warmth was delightful. Can’t afford to catch a cold.”

“Pottered about yesterday. Removed the reacher furler, it is a dockyard
repair job I’m afraid as it is totally jammed. Baled a few gallons from the
sail-locker, sewed the mainsail nappy where it is most used, topped up the
ready use diesel tank and such like. Tried the Fleet 77 but it still wont