In praise of trysails

We had a long debate last night whether we should change down to the trysail. The wind was only 22 knots and we were sailing along in splendid comfort with the 3rd reef down , and the latest grib didn’t show the increase we had previously been warned of. Eventually caution overcame valour and we lashed the boom down and hoisted the trysail , scarcely losing any speed and ready for anything. One of the advantages of a relatively light , easily driven boat is that we can still make good speed with small sails , and it has been our habit to snug down at night to whatever rig the boat can cope with and sail herself without any input from ourselves. It was a good move as the wind gradually built through the completely black night and just before dawn we had a steady 35 knots in torrential rain. Our boomless rig coped perfectly ( I feel sure that with the main up we would have dragged the boom in the water in one of the more energetic rolls) and I was able to sit perfectly dry in the” bubble” and marvel at the ease with which the boat coped with the situation. The cold front coincided with the dawn and we are now skipping along in bright sunshine and a gradually diminishing wind and sea.

Dawn also brought a group of spouting whales , one so close that we literally had to slalom round it. Bryony thinks it was fin whale – it was certainly impressively big and we get the impression that there are quite a lot of these giant creatures around , hopefully a good sign of the health of at least the ocean even if the inshore fisheries are dangerously depleted.

Festina should probably be flying a Q flag, as her crew are a bit depleted as well. I have been mildly under the weather for a few days , Bryony scared us with right sided tummy pain ( at 600 miles from anywhere this gave pause for thought !) but thankfully has recovered , and now Lynda is down with a lurg. Luckily the boat just sails herself and no doubt by the time we reach dry land we will all be fighting fit and up for a celebration ashore.

Where this will be is still undecided , although our current heading would take us to the Scillies. For the present we are whooshing past 46 06N 13 23 W, with 350 miles to the Scillies and a further 90 to Belle Isle. The boat is fine and the crew are only slightly under par and looking forward to a shower this evening to celebrate ¾ of the way to somewhere!

All well.

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