May 24, 2019/Day 231
Noon Position: 36 45N 60 57W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): NW 6 – 7
Wind(t/tws): SSW 20+
4pm. Wind is increasing. The sky grows darker under scudding cloud. Seas are stacking up. And the barometer is still falling 2mb every two hours. I recall what David Burch says in Modern Marine Weather, that a drop of 2mb over three hours implies a strong blow coming.
I’ve made as much precious northing as I dare on the low’s SW winds, and as the day wears on, the scene becomes more intense than my read of the weather suggested.
I could try to sail the coming NW winds, due to be 35 knots by forecast, out and down, but unless I can take them on the beam, I’ll be headed back to the S for two days. And into a head sea of unknown size.
So, I decide to stop the boat and stream the drogue before nightfall. The boat should be plenty safe on the Jordan Series Drogue and I’ll preserve hard won northing.
The JSD is a marvel; it’s also a monster to handle; thus the desire to drop it while there’s light. And by 5pm it’s out; Mo is stern to the seas and tugging powerfully at the bridle.
There is some risk in this strategy. Strong winds will go from SW to NW over about twelve hours. How will Mo handle the confused seas that will produce? And the wild card is current. The Pilot Charts suggest there’s not much of any Gulf Stream action here. But the seas are big and have a somewhat “unnatural” appearance. Mo is also making 4 knots to the NW on drogue when 2 knots is more the expected.
This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage