Holy Windshift Batman!
At 5:00 PM we reduced size of the mainsail by reefing it to about 1/3 of it’s normal size. Strange thing to do when the wind was only blowing 12 Kts out of the South West. But we have been studying the wind charts for a couple of days now and we were pretty confident that we were going to get a big wind shift between 8 pm and midnight and I wanted to be ready for the worst, just in case.
At 7:45 Jack was at the helm, watching the radar and he noticed a fast moving rain squall coming at us from the North West. At 8:05 PM the wind suddenly went from SW to NW and I mean RIGHT NOW. We were fully prepared and had the jibe preventer tightened down so the main wouldn’t come slamming across when the wind shifted. Within 2 minutes we were seeing gusts up to 50 Kts and steady wind of 35+. Hello Mr. Norther!!
Now we’re cruising along on a broad reach, averaging 8 Kts with occasional sprints of 10.5 Kts. The waves haven’t had time to build yet, so it’s actually quite comfortable with our full cockpit enclosure. We’re sitting out in the cockpit, dry and warm; watching it all happen. It will get rougher, but since we’ll be running with the wind, it won’t be unbearable like we had last March when we were crossing to Key West. If nothing breaks and this wind stays with us, we’ll be in Fort Myers by Wednesday mid/late afternoon. We’re ready for rum drinks!
At 8:50 our position is: