Once out of the Straights the swell grew bigger which didn't seem too bad no where near as rough as the first few hours, then the wind settled down, so into the first night changing the watch every couple of hours. The wind began to change direction and took us off course somewhat so instead of heading out directly to the Canaries we had to stay closer to the Moroccan coast. That doesn't sound bad but meant we were continually having to stay on our toes keeping an eye out for the big ships that came at us what seemed like every hour or so, scary when the are between 600 to 800 feet long, metal and doing 14 to 20 knots. Keep in mind we are sailing at the very most making headway between 5 or 7 knots and made of plastic.
On we plodded into the next day the rain at times very heavy, the wind still not taking us quite where we wanted to go, then the thunderstorms began, not really the best place to be when the lightening is all around us sometimes overhead so we had to do our best to avoid the stormy areas we could see on the radar and continue to dodge the ships, the weather worsened but there was nothing we could do just plod on day by day as best we could.
The swells grew bigger 5 to 6 metres, we have our cockpit in the centre of the boat 2 mtres above the waterline and we were looking up at the sea, but at least you could see them when it was daylight we just felt it in the dark and hoped for the best.
|There is a ship behind that in the distance, you can just see it.|
|The swell doesn't seem so bad in daylight but at night I didn't want to think about it but certainly felt it when we rolled.|
Both of us strapped on with wet weather gear lots of layers and very wet feet cold and miserable for what seemed forever, thankfully I seemed to have found my sea legs at last after spending years of taking pills and wearing electronic pulsing watches, mind you they were very close to hand should I have needed them. The wind grew and eventually turned so we did manage to go a little faster but we just knew our 5 day jaunt would be turned into 6 plus days. We both agree it was the worst sailing weather ever, no matter what we did to improve things it was an exhausting trip, hardly any wildlife, but the porpoise's antics and the dolphins were at times a welcome sight. Sometimes even though it was pitch black and couldn't see them we could hear them breathing alongside us. trying to take pictures while struggling to stand is almost impossible. If the conditions had been better I may have even tired to update the blog with the satellite phone but you can't image the positions I was in just to get the weather updates.
Don and Glenys