We left Hyddeln in Sweden on Sunday. It was going to be our first overnight sail on the open sea of Kattegat. I heard that this could be a challenging area if the wind picked up. Its very shallow and the sea can get rough. Oh well…I thought. They wrote a children song about Kattegat where you are supposed to row row row your boat, over Kattegat. How bad could it be.
We checked the weather several times in the hours leading up to our departure. It looked good. Grate actually! We set out. At around eight of clock, Rudi and Troy went to bed. Rudi was supposed to take the watch from 3 am. I was looking forward to some time al to myself. Just me and Delfini, sailing over the calm sea.
An hour later I couldn’t seem to find my cool. I was checking the AIS, our course, the map, over and over again. I had this weird feeling. Then I checked the weather. It reported light gales and a shift in the wind, from about 2 am. Nothing we cant handle, but I had a suspicion that the wind was going to be stronger. It always is… I made sure the boat was ready, and sat down to wait for the wind to shift. About an hour later the genoa wouldn’t hold. I changed the course a little and did a jib. Was a little proud of myself 🙂
At midnight Rudi`s head came up from the hatch. He felt the movement in the boat had changed. And he was probably concerned about his wife al by her lonesome self. Ha hadn’t sleept at al. I gave him the weathernews, and we decided to reef the sails. Not a moment to soon. Minutes later the wind came over us.
2 am: It had gotten dark. We feelt like we were in control. The wind was at 27 knots. Delfini feelt good. This was kind of cool! I went downstairs to check on Troy and to get some sleep. Moments later I hear Rudi yelling….SHIT!!! THE DINGY!!! The one thing I dint check…It was about to get blown overboard. I came on deck…I had already undressed downstairs…tshirt, panties and lifejacket… Rudi hooked himself onto the safety line. As he crawled over the deck, I peeked down on the anemometer. The wind was at 35 knots. Rudi saved Lille Olla, the dingi. Troy named it. Directly translated: Little Ingy.
Downstairs it was chaos! We thought we secured everything…Clearly not! The rest of the night, things keept falling down, sliding around. It was impossible to clean it up. Impossible to move around. In my head i visioned Troy being thrown around in the aft cabin. But he was comfortable, and sound asleep.
Al in al, we are happy about how we handled ourself and the boat.
We are currently in Helsingborg, Sweeden. A very nice and charming city, with a luxuries and expensive harbor. Our bank account cant wait to leave! Tomorrow we head for Denmark. We are getting our new sails!!! Its like Christmas!!! A very costly Christmas 😛
- Maybe only two refs in the mainsail next time. Three took away some of our speed, and I suspect it would have been a more comfortable ride, if we had a little more speed.
- If you think you have secured everything…you are probably wrong…WHAT A MESS!!!!
- ALWAYS ALWAYS reef the sails in time! If you even think: Maybe I should…. DO IT!
- Delfini is a magnificent boat!!!
- A windrodder is your best friend. It handles the boat better than you could ever do in strong winds.
And finally, having a man that are capable to stand watch in a strong gale, from 2 am to 11 am is hard to find. Every time I said “come downstairs, I will keep a lookout”, you said “No babe, you did good! Go and get some sleep.” Dont know where you find your strength! Thank you Rudi!!! You never stop impressing me!