Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ups and Downs

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

At Sea N29 56.51 W081 12.00

Last night, soon after writing the blog, the wind turned off. All progress northward halted until about 10AM when the wind resumed.

By suppertime, we anticipated reaching Jacksonville by 2330, Georgia by 0400 and Charleston in 48 hours. But that optimism was premature. Around St. Augustine we ran into thunderstorms so fierce that we were forced to heave to and go below. I never saw so much lightning. 4-5 strokes per second continuously.

After the storms passed I went back up and set sail. The wind had veered to the north and with full sail we were close hauled. When I saw her heel so much that water came over the rail, I knew I had too much sail for conditions. Among other things Libby was asleep below and I didn’t want to spill her out of bed. By the time I got the big Yankee down, the wind had dropped to almost nothing.

The wind vane rack and pinion jumped gears again during heave to. I must be stowing it wrong. Can’t fix that at sea, we have to wait till we get back to shore and launch the dingy.

For the next two hours I battled winds shifting radically in direction and speed, intermittent rain showers and a new ETA for the Jacksonville waypoint of 0800 the next morning. I was cold and tired. I decided to anchor offshore right where we were and get a night’s sleep. I never did that before but I saw some cruisers doing it last night. We were 4 miles offshore but the water was only 60 feet deep.

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