Pacific wind shear

Davo had warned us. “You will pass through a frontal system and the wind will shear from north to south.”

Today was Sunday so we decided to have a lazy day with no water making, no washing, no complicated meals, just a gentle sail. The wind was only a breeze so we spent half an hour launching the huge Parasailor. We were hand steering and even then we were still making less than two knots. The sky was overcast, we were heading (slowly) west and were relaxed.

Heidi was steering when Davo’s wind shear happened. Suddenly, with no warning, the wind changed direction completely and wrapped the sail around the mast and rigging. The wind rose and the drizzle started.

The mess in the cockpit afterwards.

We turned the boat round to untangle things, dropped the parasailor in to its bag and got the bag below deck before it got too damp. The drizzle became rain and we got wet through changing the lines to use the jib. The wind came from everywhere and we did three jibes before we found ourselves sailing hard on the wind and through the rain to the north west.

After only an hour the wind dropped and we had to lash the tiller and reduce sail to a minimum to minimize the flogging.

And so ended our “lazy Sunday” – aching arms, wet clothes and a tiny boat rolling around in the Pacific swell while going nowhere.

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