Brazil to The Falklands – Day 10

Reading: Winter Holiday (Arthur Ransome)
Weather: Fifty shades of grey weather (with an element of S&M about it!), wind NW 6-7, waves around 4 metres …..
Thought for the day: Would a theme park called the ‘South Atlantic experience’ where we bounce and roll people around and throw water at them be a viable business proposition? Would save actually coming here ….
Evening meal: Mashed potato and sauerkraut (mixed together – it’s a Dutch thing!) and sausages with homemade mustard
Course: 180-230oC
Distance covered: At 1200 we had covered 1,365 miles (Log 5,550)
Wildlife headcount: Same old albatrosses and cape pigeons – just a few

At the 6am changeover it was already blowing quite hard but building fast. So, the jib came down. In this wind it wasn’t going to do this without a fight. Initially it got the wrong side of the preventer of the staysail, so had to go up slightly again, then we had to fight it down. Even running downwind (as we always do when setting or taking down the jib) it didn’t want to do what we wanted it to and it was a fight to get it down on deck – the power in a sail even that size in a force 6 is sobering, particularly one that has a free-flying luff.

After that the wind built fast along with the seas until blowing a consistent force 7. The swells were running at around 4 metres and every so often one would loom up over the stern. Then the stern rises, the bow dips and we surf down it. Though it looks the colour of the north sea, when a wave breaks there is a lovely aquamarine blue tint to the top of the wave telling us that, unlike the north sea, this is beautifully clear water. As the wind shifted so we went further south to keep the wind and seas on the stern as much as possible. We had hoped to make a little more westing to allow for the frontal change which is coming. When this happens the wind is expected to shift sharply to the south and eventually drop. Good to have something to look forward to!