Sailing Rhythms

Busy day today, on our second sailing day. We changed the rigging settings so we could point better to Bonaire. This was because the wind has been a little off the forecast. Surprise surprise. Silly us for forgetting. The wind is very rarely exactly what is says on the forecast.

We set up our goose-wing rig as we left Martinique – mainsail on one side and genoa the other – so that we would capture as much wind coming from behind as possible. We were expecting straight easterlies.

What we got was more of a north-easterly. Makes sense with the remains of Tropical Storm Gonzalo forward and south of us. The only thing was, as time passed, we realised we were happily making our way to Caracas, Venezuela. Don’t get me wrong – in different times, I’d love to go.

We took down the goose-wing and removed the genoa pole. By this, mean the Cap did. I waited at the back, ready to press the MOB button on the plotter.

On our first passage, leaving Milford Haven for Spain, Jack very nearly fell overboard trying to put the genoa pole up. In fairness, it’s a long metal thing right at the front of the boat, and tricky to manoeuvre if you haven’t handled it much before. The image of his body coursing through the air before he luckily hit Quest’s stantion and remained onboard is still stuck in my head. Oh well. We all carry images in us as we get older. They become like friends.

Jack removed the pole and we set ourselves on a broad reach this time. Both sails on one side of Quest. Headed for most of the day this way. About 3pm, the sky clouded over and we had something of a squall. It wasn’t a very big one, but enough for us to drop the genoa and point downwind until it passed.

Come 5pm and the squall brought a slight wind shift. We were now feeling a southerly element, pointing us to Mexico. Ahh, Mexico. The idea of sailing Quest there would be fantastic. Just not today.

We changed course again. The night became calm and so we turned the deck light on at about midnight. Jack donned his life jacket and went back to the bow. We goose-winged until about 4am – when we were hit by a stinker of a squall. But that’s the next blog.

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