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Saturday, January 9, 2010

A change of direction

Tooling along this afternoon watching the barometer fall and thinking 'odd, that's all a bit quick - grib says much less better watch it' Closed the stern tube valve as a precaution - a good move. Seemed we were much closer to the centre of the system than the grib predicts and so it turned out. Just finished dinner, Black clouds, menacing and grim, already 2 reefed, and wham - 35 - 40 Berri surfing downwind wildly, up to 50, far too much sail - no time to get into party gear, just a lifejacket and harness and out there. Roll in the headsail still on its pole, bring her up beam on and drop the main - thrashing around but controllable, just. Kevvo kept his head and looked after us, as usual. Spray blasting across Pete at the mast, me in the cockpit, all ghostly in the spreader lights, the spray cascading diamonds, Berri rolling wildly but now sorted, everything made fast and back inside - absobloodylutely soaked. the howl has subsided, Berri steady on her feet again, from tracking SE before, now barepoled on NE @ 4 kts wind 35 and dropping. A lot of effort but essential. We'll stay like this until daylight in about 8 hours then sort the rather messy deck we left behind. Barometer up 2hp already. Now to do the washing up.