Wednesday 18 March 2015

Trade winds at last...Will they last I want to start our by wishing you all a Happy St. Patrick's day. By the time this gets posted on the blog it will be a belated Happy St. Paddy's day.

Last night we had some great winds and we were sailing along between 7 and 8 knots for a good length of time.  We have a 1 to 1.5 knot current helping us along so that really helps with the SOG (Speed Over Ground)Winds at some point got up to 20 knots perhaps even higher.  I had the 3:30 AM to 7:30 AM shift and once the sun came up I took the reef out of the main sail to increase our speed as the wind was decreasing.  Later in the morning the winds dropped to below 3 knots and we were drifting in the current with little or no help from the sails.  We motored for 1/7 hours which gave the Admiral time to run the fridge without taking too much juice from the batteries.  I've come to learn that power management on a boat is a constant worry for the captain of the boat.  At least on this boat...  I think it applies to most boats.  We got back into winds and up went the sails and we have been sailing ever since.  We got the usual pickup of wind speed at 7:15 PM local time.  We had reefed the main for the night as there were some black clouds on the horizon.  For you non sailors out there...the saying is "Reef early and Reef often"  What you are asking is reef... Reef is when you reduced the amount of sail.  On most boats you have a pair of lines that go through grommets in the main sail and you lower the sail and crank in the reef lines to keep the sail tight.  Most main sails have 2 reef points which allow you to reduce the amount of sail some and then a bunch more. Lots of boats now have 3 reefing points on the main sail.  On Maggie we have a main sail that rolls into the boom.(In boom furling)  This way we have an infinite number of reef points depending on how much sail you roll into the boom.  Lots of boats have the main sail roll (furl) into the mast which also gives you infinite reef points.  A great system unless for some reason it doesn't work properly or at all.  The more complex a system the more points for failure.  You can also reef the head sail as well.  On Maggie like most boats these days the head sail furls around the wire (shroud) at the front of the boat.  So it rolls up. So once agin you have an infinite number of reef points on the head sail.  On Maggie we have a Genoa and a stay sail which both roll up or furl.

We normally reef the main so the admiral is more comfortable during her shift. 

OK OK you are saying get back to your story. So the winds picked up like normal and we were flying along at 7.6 knots.  Earlier in the day we were up to 8.8 knots of speed.  I was looking for 9.  As I mentioned earlier we have p to 1.5 knots of current so 9 knots should be easy to accomplish.

Just looked up.. we are at 19.7  knots of wind  and we hit 7.6 knots of speed. 

Enough for today except to say.  Check out the tracker by clicking to the right.  also check out Carol's blog.  I'm sure it will give you a completely different perspective to the trip.

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