Jangada Too – Day eighteen

Well, we’ve had a pretty variable 48 hours!

Two nights ago, we were trucking along, albeit on a beat because the wind waas coming from the west (as usual). I took over the watch from Richard and he remarked he’d seen some sheet lighting, but heard no thunder, so didn’t know which direction it was in.

I trucked on, along the allotted course, but with an increasing sense of foreboding that we were actually sailing straight into a storm. It was absolutely pitch black, without any clues as to cloud or rain on any horizon. Towards the end of my watch, it seemed a good idea to tack, as the lighting seemed to be much closer.

It’s not really a good idea to go into a storm with an umbrella on a golf course, let alone a huge metal pole on an otherwise featureless ocean – and a strike can disable a yacht’s entire electrical system. We duly tacked and high-tailed it out of there, in a brisk 20 knot breeze.

We then managed to spot the storm on radar – we’d missed the main storm, but another big cloud was out to ambush us on the other tack. It duly arrived, with a torrential downpour, but luckily no lightning. I heard Richard’s wet-cat howl as he was absolutely drenched. There as nothing I could do from my cozy, dry warm bunk, anyway.

Today we’re totally becalmed in a glass sea and blue, blue skies, about 330 miles from the finish. The whole area around Newport is guarded by a large, high pressure system. We’ve tried to run south to skirt around it, but to no avail. At least we’ll be in the best position when the new wind arrives, however.

Beer o’clock time, methinks!