The Hours Long Squall

18 Oct

October 17, 2018

Day 13

Noon Position: 10 16N 131 04W

Course/Speed: ESE 5

Wind: S 12

Sea: S 4

Sky: Cumulus and a layer of stratus above

10ths Cloud Cover: 9

Bar: 1013+

Cabin Degrees Fahrenheit: 84

Water Degrees Fahrenheit: 83

Percent Relative Humidity: 76

Sail: #2 genoa, full; main full, close hauled to starboard

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 129

Miles since departure: 1846

Avg. Miles/Day: 142

I was working below. Then the rain started and the wind accelerated to 20 knots. Mo was flying her working sail full; we’d been close hauled for hours, trying to make southing in this sudden south wind.

Mo laid right over and then Monte naturally put her into a riding position that spilled much of the wind. The effect was almost that of being hove too. Our speed, which had been seven knots, slowed to four. If I’d been asleep, I may not even have noted the change.

It’ll pass in a jiffy, I thought. It’s what squalls do. So, I didn’t move to reef either sail.

At about this time, came a visitor. Another boobie looking for a place to sit and preen. Again, as a nod to his kind, he chose his position badly. The solar panel perch acted like the ice of a skating rink beneath his pink feet, and he slipped around, a sensation clearly new to him.

The wind stayed steady and the water simply poured out of the sky.

For over an hour.

With no change to wind velocity or water density, except a heavy chop has set in.

So, you’ve sailed a bit and you think you’ve seen some weather. But always there is more you haven’t seen.

It has passed now, but I see another one coming. So will keep this short.

Mo and I got boisterous southerlies just after dawn. We’re try to use them to get a little easting in before tacking around and carrying them out and all the way around as they slowly back into the SE and carry us to the southern horse latitudes. But for this to work, I need to make a bit of south as I east. So far, all I’m getting is east. Feels like riding along a wall that bars one’s path.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


  1. Angus Crowe

    Interesting article. Although I have never encountered a bobbie on board, I’ve had numerous encounters with squalls while racing in the Gulf of Maine, but two stand out in my adventures.
    The first happened during a delivery from Beaufort to the BVIs. We had been out about four days without a shower to conserve water. I spided a squall and told the crew to shorten sail as I went below to change into a bathing suit.
    The squall came and was wonderful. I couldn’t see a damn thing but worked with the weather that was given. We got back on course and I was rewarded with a great shower!
    The second was on a cruise in the BVIs with a new girlfriend (and just learning sailor). We were both 50 at the time (and have been together ever since!).
    We were crossing from Tortala towards Peter Island.
    Again, shorten sail and told her to go below. Rather exciting for her, but an impromptu shower for me.

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