28 Apr Meeting Hannah
28 April 2019
We regained our NE course after replacing the broken main sail with the spare one. We kept heading in that direction for four days to get into the Channel area. The forecast was there would be gale winds (8 bft) in that area upon arrival. We considered and tried alternative tactics for not getting into that 40 knots gale. But in the end we had no other way than to endure it. On the radio later on we heard this storm got named Hannah.
Wind and waves built up. The wavelength of the waves was longer than the length of the ship. The waves flushed underneath the ship causing the ship moving up and down 8 meters in a timeframe of seconds. The ship was stamping, rolling and gearing at the same time. Being stopped by waves and then accelerating again. Sliding sideways from a wave gives the ship a heel of more than 30 degrees and flushes water over the railing. It takes a few rolls to get rid of that water via the scutter holes. When the bow is moving up at the same time, part of that water flows to the aft deck. You suddenly stand in 10 cm of water behind the wheel.
Once sliding from a very big wave during dinner the ship heeled more than 40 degrees. This deposited the content of the dinner plate upon your lap and on the floor. I never saw horizontal flying coffee cups before. With the main sail double reefed, the stay sail and jib and all hatches and doors tight closed the ship could handle this storm. Chapeau for the cook who seemingly undisturbingly made us meals. Although these meals ended sometimes else then in our stomach.
We kept these days the NE course and crossed Biscay and the Channel and headed for Lizard point (GB). Once in the lee of the peninsula the waves dropped. We anchored in Helford Bay (near Falmouth). This morning we awoke on a wrinkleless bay with typical British drizzle. How weather can change in 12 hours.
At the moment we are sailing again, up for a rendez vous with the Bessie Ellen sailing ship. Coming days we will sail the Channel, probably more on engine than on sail.