A little Front – in pictures

Finally an action post for the sailors that read our blog.

On our way towards Tonga we ran into a front / through. As the thing really looked weird on our weather maps we prepared ourselfes for the worst – and pretty much got it. Luckily for us, the storm hit during daylight which is a lot less freightening than having strong winds in the pitch black night. Lucky for you too as you get some scary pictures (and maybe a video later on).

Der Ausblick nach dem Fruehstueck. Nicht gut.Die Segel sind im ersten Reff, aber das wird nicht ausreichen.Die Capitana unterstuetzt unsere Windsteuerung bei ihrer schweren ArbeitNeue Windsee bei 9 Beaufort

The front was clearly visible in the morning after breakfast and when it hit, the wind turned 180 degrees and increased to about 40 knots at which it stayed pretty much all day. After a few hours, the sea picked up and nearing the end of the storm we had waves reaching well above five meters. Despite the rough seas we still did 4-5 knots, going against the wind with the main and genoa in the third reef.

Slightly further south it was even worse. We heard of yachts that encountered more than 50 knots of wind just 50 miles south of our position.

Wir segeln am Wind und unser Schiff wird ordentlich durch die Mangel genommen.Bilder werden der wilde See aber einfach nicht gerecht. Spaeter kommt vielleich tnoch ein Video.Nach ein paar Stunden haben sich die Wellen ganz gut aufgebaut und erreichen 5-6 Meter.Ein Laecheln fuer den Fotograf - auch bei 42 Knoten Wind.

The damage: one genoa sheet was nearly shaved through and again we made lots of water. The most of it in the lazarette but not as much as previously in the living quarters. The sunbrella cover of our Genoa was already slightly damaged from all the flapping during the light wind sailing and the storm did some additional damage. But it’s already down and we gave it to the local sailmaker to re-stitch it. It should be fine again in one or two days. We had to use the autopilot for a few minutes while we put in another reef. Although it usually keeps the course quite well it managed to do a jibe (!!) while we were sailing on the wind. A jibe with 40 knots is not very nice and it tore out the stopper of the track of the main sheet. But that I can also repair easily. The culprit seems to be a faulty connection on the autopilot computer – a common fault, we learned. I’ll look into that during the next days too.

Compared to the other boats that came into harbour during the next days, we did pretty well. Other boats had their sails completely torn, blocks destroyed, hailyards snapped, etc. I don’t like cleaning the boat after an incident like that but if that’s all – I can live with it. And of course we will again improve and try to stop some more leaks that we found on hatches, vents, etc.

Die beinahe durchgescheuerte Genua-SchotAcht Eimer Salzwasser im Achterschiff.Das heisst: alles ausraeumen und mit Suesswasser waschen - schon wieder !!Die Genua muss runter und zum Segelmacher

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4 Responses to A little Front – in pictures

  1. Steven Lough says:

    Hope ZACK is OK.. Still has not reached Fiji, from Tonga as of this evening. Has Seattle friend waiting for him there to sail with him as he presses on to Australia. And another friend Rosemarry, who was vacationing in Fiji, and has extended her stay, in hopes of seeing Zack and PANACHE once they arrive. They left Tonga last Saturday, should be in Fiji this week.

  2. dafdaf says:

    Phew !! I just saw your comment and was starting to worry as I read on Facebook that Zack just arrived in Fiji.
    Huh. I’m glad. And I guess so are you….
    Cheers from Tonga !!

  3. Travel says:

    I love the bathemetry of the tonga trench. Sometimes if I look hard enough I think it is instead a rift valley instead of a subducting plate. Anyhoo… Nice pictures, I am jealous.

  4. Steven Lough says:

    Panache Arrives in Fiji – safe and sound a few days ago. He now has his friend John to help crew, as they press on to Australia. Before they left Tonga, his friends aboard SV Bella-Star posted many pictures of Tong, which I am sure you folks are now enjoying your self. We especially like the way Nicole says “Good By” to Zack, as he left for Fiji.. Read and see her BLOG at:
    ( http://www.svbellastar.com/2013/10/cruising-kingdom.html )