Monday, July 09, 2007

NF to IRE - Day 7

Thankfully we were sailing conservatively last night because there were strong winds that took us by surprise ahead of the frontal system we were expecting. By 0500 hrs the wind gusts were 40kts so the guys reduced canvas by furling the 100% and hoisted the staysail, which was already hanked-on on deck. (I was off watch trying to sleep.) By 0730 hrs the wind was hovering around 45kts so we all jumped into action (double tethered) and dropped the main. At 1130 hrs the wind was back in the low 30's so we lowered the staysail and went back to the 100% jib to make better distance. By 1300 hrs we had raised the double reefed main, which made for a less bumpy ride yet still rough due to the large seas. Although never in danger, it has been a long day as it's tiring trying to hold on tight and getting tossed about. The highlight of my day happened just as I started my night watch at 2000 hrs. A pod of porpoise were swimming along side the boat and playing in the bow wake. This is common, however this time the waves were high, often over the lifelines, and as the porpoises swam sometimes the wave would break and they would leap out of the wave into the air. What a fantastic show!

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