rite of passage
A good little piece from young buck making the Northwest Passage…
So we’ve had one hell of a wild ride for the past 24 hours. That great wind from behind that I mentioned turned out to be courtesy of a massive low pressure system moving up through the Bering Sea. The 25kts that we were loving yesterday quickly escalated to 35-40 kts with a max gusts to 50 coming from basically straight behind us along with 12-15ft seas. We reduced sail eventually all the way down to just the stay sail and the mizzen with a reef in and we were still doing 9-10 kts and more when surfing. Rob holds the speed record at 17 kts down a wave during the night. Oh I forgot to mention we also stopped using our autopilot yesterday evening because it was working so hard for so long that we didn’t want to risk breaking it. The low pressure system is moving fast to the North so the breeze has clocked around to the east but is forecasted to move back around behind us all the way to the Northwest and build back to 25kts by tomorrow when we are going through the Bering Strait.
Apparently there is another low pressure system coming down off of Russia into the Bering Sea right after this one so once we make it through the Strait we are going to weigh our options for stopping and waiting for better weather or pressing on. We are being very safe with the bad weather and everything is going well other than the fact that we and the whole boat in general are very wet. Franco had a wave crash through the vent in his cabin last night on to his bunk…Hopefully we can get our diesel heater fired back up, although she doesn’t like the bad weather, and get the boat dried out a bit and hopefully this next low pressure system is manageable and we can press on to Dutch Harbor. One more thing I have to say is that sailing this boat under minimal minimal sail seems wild in 35-40 kts of wind and pretty big seas and we’re only doing 8-12 kts on average. I have a whole new level of respect for the guys in the Volvo Ocean Race who do this going at 25 kts day in and day out on a stripped bare race boat. Now that has to be a wild ride! – Andrew Sayre.