Field clears a little for Ellen

Problems for Ecover and Sill, disaster for Conrad Humphreys

Thursday November 14th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Miranda Merron writes from on board UUDS

There are times when one would like to be somewhere else, and this is one of them. Next to the log fire at the King & Queen, drinking a pint of cooking lager springs to mind.

The scenery is quite amazing, albeit better viewed on TV. Enormous waves, beam on, many of them breaking, some into the cockpit and then into my living room, can you believe the cheek of it?

It's dark now, but has been bright blue sky all day, interspersed with very active cumulobeasties. I'm almost pleased we don't have wind instruments, because I don't want to know how much there is, though do remember from some other ocean race that when the wind causes the waves to flatten, it is somewere around 60 knots.

I reefed the trinquette earlier - took forever, the current method clearly not the most efficient. However being fire-hosed on the bow, clipped on with two harness lines, gave me lots of time to admire my surroundings, and the reef seems to have stopped the boat rounding up, though we are slower.

I am sitting in front of the radar, will not be venturing out much tonight. I can tell when we get a squall, the whole boat loads up, the speed rises, we become airborne for a few seconds before smashing down really hard off a wave. Allegedly only another 24 hours of this. Good time to catch up on sleep, but staying put on the nav bench isn't so easy. I'm quite sure these sort of conditions were not in the brochure!

Miranda/UUDS
45 08N 14 53W

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