Sunday, April 29, 2012


Noon Position: 42 30' S, 143 44' E, SOG 5.5, COG 140, Day's Run 106nm.
We got forced fairly far north by the gale yesterday, so now Odyssey is
close reaching over the big lumpy leftovers towards South East Cape. I
managed to set two highly scientific, accurate, speed records for
Odyssey yesterday - first two rushing surfs to over 17 kts, then in the
late afternoon we managed to peg 18.5kts SOG on the GPS. The boat
reared up as the stern lifted to the wave then took off with a rush like
popping a laser up on plane, water rumbling and thrashing down the sides
of the hull. We also managed to broach three times yesterday - none
serious, just waves taken a little bit too far forward, so that Odyssey
ended the surf on her side instead of upright, heeled 60 or 70 degrees
over, all very smooth and gentle. My first weather report was wrong as
well - conditions didn't calm down until 10pm, not 4 or 5 pm like I
thought. Instead, around 4 the seas which I thought had been big went
to a whole new level. I don't really know how to describe them, or even
estimate the size - once again the biggest moving things that I've ever
seen, the swell from the stronger winds to the south passing through.
The height and length of the really big sets was awful and amazing at
the same time, perched on the crest of one wave and looking back and
down for seemingly an eternity before finally seeing what looked like a
small hill on the far side of a valley rolling up in the distance. At
the same time some SSW and NW cross swell came back, and the breaking
waves once again exceeded all my expectations. I had no conception that
a wave in the open ocean could behave in such a manner, with the top 6
or 8 feet of an already incredible crest tumbling and exploding into
foam. The wind was still blowing force 8, whipping packets of spray off
the crests and moaning through the rigging, punctuated by the grumble of
the tumbling seas. I'm really struggling (and failing) to do justice to
the seas. I watched until the sun set, and with sunset the seas started
to back off again, and by 10 the wind was down to force 7, and by 2am I
had the main back up, reaching across the now quiescent hills in the dark.

1 comment:

  1. Eric, Once again I found myself holding my breath as I read about your adventure! Whew, hope you stay dry!