Friday, 16 December 2011 | by ADOR
Yesterday saw the crew aboard Azzam tested to their mental limits. Not due to damage or bad scheds, but rather to outrageous wind patterns with less than zero consistency. “It’s wild here, I have never sailed in a more frustrating place in my life. The weather refuses to make up its mind!” explained Jutty (Justin Slattery).
Judging by the random shouting and extreme outburst of laughter, I knew it was time to get on deck for a bit. It was obvious from the outset that the boys were highly annoyed though, so I figured no point in walking into a firing squad empty handed. I went for the next day’s chocolate supply and came bearing gifts. However with an extreme burst of wind that would require a stack change, and would eventually drop off just two minutes later under heavy rain, it was tough getting a genuine rise out of anyone.
Try this on your brain – 3 to 4 knots of wind, sails brutally slapping the rig at 160 true wind angle. Within seconds it would shift to 100 true wind angle, gust up to 15-18 knots and tip the yacht over if you were not quick enough with the keel or mainsheet. The strong pressure would last two minutes maximum and would require a minor stack change (nothing really minor about shifting several tons across a moving surface). The breeze would then die again in a matter of seconds and send Azzam upright with the sails against the rig sending chills down everyone’s spines. Put that on repeat for 15 straight hours and see how you come out the other side.
We have dubbed this weather system the ‘Third Doldrums’ but pray that it’s not actually true. After asking Junior how his watch went, he replied somewhat sarcastically “I will never get those four hours back in my life, all that matters now is that I’m off watch!” “Fair enough” I said. Several minutes later the new watch called down, “wake up Junior – sail change!”
date: Friday, 16 December 2011 20:05:13 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)
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