We've nearly hit double digits for the number of days in the doldrums so far. Matt keeps promising that the weather is about to become favourable, but the heat and lack of sailing are really starting to get to people. It's so difficult to stay focused and upbeat when even the constant sail changes can't get the boat moving. Gybing is an incredibly slow process that often takes two or three tries with such light wind.
The good news is that there was some excitement this morning to remind us all why we're doing this. Just as we hit the 0600 watch change, we sailed into an enormous squall that had been lurking on the horizon. Suddenly we went from next to no wind to 48 knots. Our medium weight kite (Brian) was up at the time - I'm impressed that it didn't explode, though it was quickly dumped (as was the main sail). We got Brian down the hatch relatively quickly and proceeded to put in two reefs, hoist the staysail, hoist the Yankee two, as well as shaking out the reefs when the wind died down. The sheer amount of rain made it difficult to see anything, not to mention soaking all of us to the bone. We had a bit of a bag in the mainsail once the reef was in which managed to fill with at least a dozen gallons of water.
Suffice to say, this morning was excellent. I was certainly thrilled to do a bit of sailing for a change - not to mention washing off some of the sweat from the sauna it's been down below. It's probably strange, but there was more smiling and laughter as we all worked through the squall, absolutely soaked, than there's been in a while on board. It was just the boost we needed.
Sadly, not long after the wind died again. We're back to square one - changing sails, baking in the sun, doing our best to sail in a straight line south and generally failing. Matt's promised some wind in our future, so fingers crossed. No word on how distant that future may be.
Kate Davidson, Mission Performance