Header image: Henri Lloyd in St Katharine Docks before the race start

More showers

Written 20 January 2014, at sea

8am. Watch changeover as I wrote in the log. Clean clothes too ie clean bra top and shorts that had at least been washed. Still stained with sunscreen and the special red Henri Lloyd mould we seem to have, but ‘clean’.

The watch started uneventfully with sitting on the rail while eating breakfast. In these conditions we keep a half-hourly lookout on the radar for squalls that might be headed in our direction. Best get Eric up on deck. There were squalls all around us on the radar. We could see them too. Darker bits of cloud that seem to reach the horizon or sea. That’s the rain that is coming out of the bottom.

A distant squall

A distant squall

This time we did not need to tack. We were just putting in and shaking out reefs as it got windier or the wind died away.

Reefs added.
Shower 1. Totally soaked. Shampooed hair, and arms and legs and feet.
Shake out reefs. It still rains. Hands are soggy so can clean fingernails.
Bout 2. Add reefs before shower 2. Just enjoy the wetness, and the fact it is with freshwater not saltwater that we are soaked.
Reefs out. Skipper goes below.
Looks a bit dark over there. What is that?
We’re set up to add reef 1 as the skipper arrives back on deck. That’s added, quickly followed by reef 2. An abortive attempt to add reef 3 and Eric tells us to clip on, then to heave-to. That’s when the boat is head to wind and the headsails are working in opposition to the mainsail. It’s a safe position.
Next thing is to drop the Yankee, an easy thing to do now that we are hove to so there is no wind filling the sail.
Then we could add reef 3.
Next thing is to sail us out of this mess of squally weather. But that’s up to the other watch.
Time for lunch.
But I do wish I hadn’t chosen today for the clean clothes!

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