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Eleventh Blog from on board Perie Banou II

by Jon Sanders on 25 Feb
Jon Sanders Laura Tolmay
'Perie Banou II' with me, are tracking well. Going north west to the British Island of Saint Helena. After 3 days of very quiet - unusual - weather, I found the regular SE Trade Wind. (SE 18/22 kts). Reef in mainsail and snippet of jib. My usual cruising rig down wind. Very comfortable. Every now and again a rain squall. 25/30 kts (means knots or nautical miles). Does not last long. If it did I would want to shorten sail more.

With the minor squalls often comes a temporary wind change. (40 degrees). The squalls last, maybe, 1/2 hour. Mostly in the afternoon and night. Did you read all that? Of course you did. I actually typed that (with one finger) whilst it was happening. Got the squall, got the wind shift, came back on course, (I didn't get it right). Wind got stronger. 30/35 kts. (Down wind). Better put second reef in. - can't last long. (It did).

Whilst putting second reef in, the wind got stronger. I realised, with great wisdom, I needed to put the third deep reef into the mainsail. I am wearing boxer shorts and T Shirt. Sore ribs started getting sorer. Got the third reef tied in. Not neat but OK and I am sopping wet. (Still in the cold current).



I did not expect this sudden weather change. In hind-sight it would have been smarter to drop the mainsail, furl onto the boom and run with only the furling jib. Easy thing to do. I wondered how the boys behind were going in their Swarbrick 27 'Liberdade'. They, like I, always have a drogue and line ready to tow astern (to help steering and prevent broach) in down wind gales. (Was not needed, but was there).

Wind blew to 40 kts all night. Next day and well into the night 25/35 SE - down wind. Now and again the yacht would surf or surge on a breaking wave. Sometimes the crest would break all over. (Deck wash). Took its time, the wind moderated to a normal 18/22 kts trade wind. I kept the 3 deep reefs. (Jib furled). Because the sea was slow to become less. Like this, I would not tweak the ribs. They are getting better and better.

Where did all that weather come from ? I don't know. None of it was according to plan. Barometer high, 1018. You get that. Hmmmm less wind. The brats behind, (oops sorry, I mean Trevor and Rhys, the young guys with 100% genuine dinky-Di Australian accents and their ' Liberdade' (Swarbrick 27. - SS27). Probably 40 years old - boat I mean. And despite carbon fibre masts, carbon fibre sails, carbon fibre hulls ( 'Wild Oats' 'Maserati' 'Leopard' 'Scarlett Runner' and Mrs Gina Rinehart) - they had worked for Mrs Rinehart. Will now be cramming their mainsail to the full and polling out their biggest Genoa. The '27' ain't all that slow. They know who is in front.

Makes me feel, like an ageing oriental, too scared to save face. Stuff my ribs! At 2AM in the morning, I increased my mainsail. 'Cool Runnings'.Where the heck are they?

Kindest regards to all

Jon

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