Monday, July 20, 2009

We have wind.

Our life on passage is dominated by several big things that you are probably sick of hearing about now:

1. Wind: Do we have wind? What direction? Is it steady? Wind is the biggest part of our day. Closely related,
2. Waves: Are they big? Are they breaking? (The top part collapsing into foam) Where are they coming from?
3. Food: When is breakfast? When is lunch? When is Dinner? What is it? Without good food this would be no fun.
4. Boat: Is the water staying outside? Is anything breaking? Is it moving? Is the slimy side pointed down (mostly)?
5. Watch: Who is supposed to be on watch? Will the radar work with the waves/weather? Where are my scooby snacks? The person on watch and only the person on watch has access to the snack locker.
6. Sails: What sails are up? Are they set right? Do they need to be reefed? Are they chafing?
7. Clothing: Is my suit dry yet? Have you seen my (hat, gloves, headlight, watch, socks (socks are cannibalistic)?
8. Reading material: Have you seen my (book, magazine, guide, chart, journal)?
9. Heater: Is the heater working? Should we turn it up, down, open window? Is it smoking/set right?
10 Sleep: The more the better.

Just about anything that is happening on passage has to do with one of these ten things.

At about midnight last night the wind finally picked up. On watch change Deb and I reefed (reduced the sail area) the mainsail so that we could sail more comfortably and safely with the wind we were having. It felt so good to finally be moving again. The wind has been blowing from about 15-20kts from the east since then. It has slowly been decreasing in intensity all day, but we will keep our reef in overnight just to keep things simple. If the wind blew like this on Lake Michigan, the lake would be pissed and blasting us with suburban to bus size waves. Here on the ocean we have been getting refrigerator size waves with the occasional suburban thrown in.

Rolland's Handy wave scale:

Microwaves: About the size of a microwave. Usually choppy. Precipice hardly feels these.
Refrigerator waves: 3-5 feet. These waves make Precipice roll a little, feels like you are sailing.
Suburban waves: 6-9 feet. About the size of a Chevrolet Suburban. These waves move us around inside the boat. We start to brace ourselves on things.
Bus waves: 9-12 feet. Now we are starting to live differently inside the boat. Water comes on deck and spray goes over the side. You get wet on watch. We tether in at night.
House waves: 12-15 feet. We tether in day or night and crawl on deck. Doing just about anything on the boat takes effort. Cooking gets tricky.
Apartment waves: 15-25 feet. We have only dealt with apartment waves once on Lake Michigan. It was work. Probably only simple things could be cooked.
Condominium waves: 25-35 feet. At this point we would have reduced to storm sails and would probably have deployed a sea anchor.

So far our experience with ocean waves it that they are much longer in period. Lake Michigan waves are square. A six foot wave in Lake Michigan pounds the front of your boat. On the ocean we have found you can sail up and down a six foot wave.

Last night it started raining. I decided to set up our rain catching gear we made just before we left. I got half way through setting it up and it stopped raining. I will get faster at it though. Next time I will get it completely set up when it stops raining.

Rolland for the Trowbridges


At Home on the Rock... said...

Hey guys! Just checking in to say hi and see how everything is going. It's great to follow along on your adventure...thanks for posting and keeping us updated!

Anonymous said...

Now you are making some good progress!!! Hopefully everyone (Jannelle) is feeling good. I hope everyone is sleeping OK without too many bruises!