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Monday, January 4, 2010

Gentle menace.

Hot, grey-blue hazy day. The sea has changed colour from deep iridescent blue to glassy jade green - not the deep bottle green of the Bering sea but almost milky as the light reflects off the tiny organisms that live here. I wonder whether cold water, generally, is greener than warm. The temperature is now 21 deg, way down from not too long ago.

Soft line of cloud low all along the western horizon - puffy and gentle, still reflecting sunlight. When the sun gets behind it, it will have real menace - black lowering and almost solid. It's the beginning of the frontal system - perhaps 8 hours away, so when most of you in Australia read this, it will be with us and past. But for us, it's always the waiting that gets under the skin and corrodes the shiny bits (three highly polished and overused neurons...).

As it approaches, we will put in the second and third reefs (I've just done the first, to balance the boat and help Kevvo keep her straight) and eventually drop the main, lash it to the boom, preventers either side to lock it all in place, slightly to leeward and sloping downwards towards the stern to let the water run off and out of it. Then we'll roll in the headsail progressively and maybe even end up bare poled. Experience says double the forecast GRIB wind speed to get an accurate fix on the likely maximum gust speeds. We're looking at 60+.

So there ya go.