Sent: 2 Nov 2003
Subject: Squalls and night sailing

It is time for another short photo narrative.

The Definition of a Squall,
Is pretty straightforward. I think this was one the first major ones I ran into as I traveled down the coast. I fooled around with Photoshop but I think I ended up making it look even more surreal. At first I took down all sails when something like this was looming on the horizon but after a while I started leaving the main sail up during the ones which were not so violent.

Is a great photo of that scenario. A black line on the horizon with the main sail still up. When the winds actually hit me the boat would heel over 20 to 30 degrees and then we would go zipping along under the full brunt of it. Then as the squalls would pass the wind would slowly shift around and blow from the land pretty strongly for about 25 minutes. Then all would calm down and usually we would have to drop all sails because the winds would be too light and we would have to motor. That was the main reason I started keeping the main up during the squalls. It was frustrating to have so much powerful wind but not to be tapping into it.

Last Two Naners,
Was taken as one of the larger squalls hit the land full brunt. It was wild to watch the water pour out of the clouds in torrents. When I tried to capture it on film I noticed that my last two bananas were also in the photo. It was a funny contrast so I took the photo anyways. It ended coming out pretty good.


Light Winds,
Captures my frustration as the offshore wind died out and we had to take down the sails again. Some times we ran into two to three squalls a day and raising and lowering the sails over and over again got old, really fast. Another motivation for leaving the mainsail up as much as possible. It was also easy to keep the main up when we motored because we could pull the sheets in tight and stop the sail from swinging and chaffing. It even made motoring more comfortable if there was a slight wind to push the boat over a little. It reduced the roll of the boat with the waves.


Hole in the Sky,
Was taken later on during the trip, when I started sailing and traveling at night. The currents and the winds were much more favorable. During the nights the squalls would blow off the land, less powerfully and with a longer duration. This was ideal for cruising down the coast as I eventually learned. Although I must admit when I first started doing it and I had scenes like this, I was rather intimidated and had to swallow my fear and plow on ahead.

Night Sailing,
Is one of my favorites because it came out so crazy. It really does capture the insanity of the boat well heeled with a strong wind, driving along in the pitch-black night. I ran up from the cockpit to the bowsprit and took the photo looking back at the cabin. I was, at first, trying to capture the Genoa and the tilt of the boat, but the picture came out looking much more drastic. I think I over tilted it in Photoshop but it captures the feeling even better that way. After I got more used to the night sailing on my own, I started to keep the Genoa up during the stronger winds. The Genoa has approximately 150 percent more sail area then the main sail. It is the main driver on the boat but it is the first thing to be taken down when the winds get too strong. As you can see in “Night Sailing” the boat is really heeled over with the Genoa up. Great stuff though. Invigorating! Most definitely kept me awake and bright eyed.

That’s it for this segment,
Take care everyone,
Captain Andy