During the early hours of the morning, the wind shifts to the NNE at 18 knots. Cutter Loose is scampering along to the barn on a beam reach at 7 knots. Clear skies give way to light showers at 1 AM. It is a quiet night. There are no vessels to track on the radar screen. The reward of the night watch is witnessing first light and a brilliant sunrise.
Throughout the day, wind speed increases gradually to 30 knots. The wind, waves and swell combine to create a rough ride aboard Cutter Loose. At noon, we are 394 miles from our destination.
Bouncy conditions continue through the evening. Standing behind the wheel, it is as if we are in an enclosed surfboard. Foam from the crests of the waves surround the stern as Cutter Loose rises on the crests and descends into the troughs in acrobatic style. Boat speed has now reached 8 knots under a triple reefed main and a double reefed genoa. The autopilot is doing a great job of keeping us on course. In these circumstances, one must hang on for the ride and have confidence in one’s vessel. But for those off watch, sleep is difficult given the constant noise and extreme motion. In fact, every task in the cabin is made difficult by the rolly conditions.