Still heave to in 40 knots and 15 – 20 ft. seas.
Heaving to is a way of slowing a sail boat’s forward progress, as well as fixing the helm and sail positions so that the boat does not actively have to be steered. It is commonly used for a “break”; this may be to wait for the tide before proceeding, to wait out a strong or contrary wind. For a solo or shorthanded sailor it can provide time to go below deck, to attend to issues elsewhere on the boat.
When a sailboat is set in a heaving to position, she slows down considerably and keeps moving forward at about 1 to 2 knots, but with a significant amount of drift. The drift creates some turbulence on the water, and that disturbance decreases significantly the sea aggressiveness. The pounding felt when going upwind in strong seas almost miraculously disappears and the boat does not heel as much.
This is MUCH more comfortable. But that is a relative statement. It’s a little bit like “parking” the boat on idle speed.
We are taking some water through the deck where the mast enters. I had a fairly steady drip on my pillow last night. Last night the wind was blowing 40-45 with gusts to 50 -60. There is nothing to do but ride it out. There is nothing to do but sleep, or at least try to. We’re hunkered down in the cabin checking the deck now and again. Dreams on the boat are vivid and frequent.
We’ve just spent the morning chatting. We listened to Click & Clack. Hopefully we can head to the way point this afternoon.
Just listened to November Mike November or Mechanical Mike. He’s a computer-generated voice giving the National Weather Services Marine Forecast. We will heave to until we hear from Herb at 5:00 p.m. or so. Sucks not going forward but better than sailing further into this. Still 35 knots in 15-20 ft. seas.
Checking in with Herb (Southbound II) Herb is SSB radio – 12359. Really hoping we did the right thing. We’re 88 miles from the waypoint – 15 hrs. We will be on a tight beat in 10-15 ft. seas 25-30 knots. Of all the points of sail a tight beat is the least pleasant. Beating It’s really, really uncomfortable beating into strong wind in heavy seas.
We’re sailing again. Not because every thing is clear but because we have to push forward. The worst maybe behind us but we still need to head West to push through the front then North to our way Point in the Gulf Stream. Will most likely hit some squalls. Wind and seas are heavy.
Lying in my bunk listening to the sounds of the sail. There’s the constant howl of 25-knot winds with the occasional higher pitch of a 30 knot gust. The constant swoosh of water rushing along the hill. The crash as the bow ducks under a wave followed by the rush of water over the deck and the cockpit. The sound of the rain and a wide variety of clanks, creaks, thuds, rattles. It’s an eerie cacophony.
Every now and then you are weightless as your bunk seems to disappear from underneath as the bow moves over the top of a wave. Then either gently moves up to nestle you back into bed or crashes through another with a big crash.