Last night, after a day and a half of gliding along all tickety-boo and daring to think we might have it like that all the way to the Marquesas, a huge squall line put paid to that notion. Seeing the rapid approach, around 1:30 am, of a long, nasty black cloud with rain under it so dense it blocked out all moonlight, I called to Jim, who came up and doused and secured the spinnaker just before it hit. Buckets of rain, loads of wind, rising seas, and a quick jot of our position in the log in case lightning hit (there was none) saw us go from peaceful to carooming at 5+ knots under double-reefed main alone, in a direction diverging from our rhumb line.
Soaked, chilled, tired and grumpy, I said Bag This, hove the boat to, went below and went to bed. Good decision. Jim, who was off-watch in his bunk, thought so, too.
This morning not even the spinnaker would fill. Big leftover seas made steering, even by hand, almost impossible, and the soundscape was as if two sumo wrestlers were having a towel fight overhead. That ole homicidal feelin' returned, but after awhile I felt more like laughing at the ridiculosity of it all. We managed to move forward at 1 knot, most of that current, and finally in early afternoon the wind came back--light, but usable. We're making about 3 knots now. And gunnin' fer that wind with the determination of a labrador retriever in a school lunchroom. Okay, too many metaphors. So sue me.
Meanwhile, at the very moment I was talking on the radio at noon to 3 other boats (Southern Cross, Ladybug and Buena Vista) and lamenting the lack of wildlife we're seeing, Jim yelled, "THERE'S A HUGE FISH RIGHT NEXT TO THE BOAT!" Turned out to be a pilot whale, in a pod of at least 2 dozen! They made our day, swimming lazily alongside.
We. Will. Get. There. Dad. Gumit.
Sent via Ham radio