Day 4 – July 4th
44 deg 06.1 ’N 135 deg 19.9 ’W
The last couple days have been challenging.
After light winds for a few hours yesterday, the wind steadily picked up. We went through half our sail inventory starting out with the wind seeker mid day, then an asymmetrical spinnaker, and then to our symmetrical light wind spinnaker only to have to gear down again a few hours later. With winds around 30 kts and gusts to 36 kts we had our hands full through the night. It was raining non-stop and everything was soaked. Nothing like getting up at 2 am, to get into soggy pants to stand a four-hour watch in near gale winds with pouring rain. On a brighter note the bioluminescence was amazing. For a moment on the fore deck (working on yet another reef) I watched the water flying over the bow. As it ran aft, it turned the deck into a sparkling firmament making it look like a star lite sky. The night was black and the only other thing we could see was the white caps illuminated by our navigation lights. The white caps performed a wild dance as the waves caught up with Salient, lifting her stern up and let her surf down the back side into the trough. Mesmerizing. Today the winds eased a bit and we flew Black Magic, our heavy weather spinnaker. The wind blew around 25- 30 kts and the Salient was a handful to keep under control. Driving was hard and required 100% focus. We were doing 10 kts and more most of the time with the top speed at 18.9 kts surfing down a particularly large wave. We thought about gearing down but it was not until we had a complete wipe out followed by a full 360 pirouette including an accidental gybe that we got off our adrenaline high and reduced sail.
Today's dinner were Chilean Empanadas with Chipotle hot sauce – fantastic!
Until tomorrow – Salient out.