Donna Lange: facing strong winds & big waves

Posted By on February 3, 2007

Donna Lange Google Earth 02/03/2007Yet another update from Donna Lange; she has encountered a significant amount of heavy weather. I received and update this morning on her condition (which is upbeat) and that her 28 foot Southern Cross sailboat is handling the 40 and 50 knot winds being dished out in the southern Atlantic. Thanks to her sailing and weather skills, she is down to a storm sail (very small heavy sail) as the rapidly moving fronts pass and has wisely put out warps to keep stern to the waves. She has emailed that seas have built to “20 foot sea conditions” with collisions building to 40 feet. We’re talking some serious and dangerous conditions.

1005UTC 0705LOcal
Feb 3,2007 Saturday morning Hugs!!!
A rough 24 hours!
position: 46*00’S 49*16’W
winds: WSW 30kn. to 45kn gusting 50+kn yesterday,
last night
sp: 5kn COG: ave 025 30nm off course to port
Seas: to 40′ overnight, diminishing now
point of sail: broad reach
sails: full reef main, 1/4jib, warps dragging(lines
to slow and hold stern steadier, less likely to
turn too far into a wave. only 1/4 jib yesterday
and night)
miles sailed: 120nm
miles to go: 6638nm to RI
474nm to 40S/42W
forecast: The storm center came much farther N
than thought, the center passing over me. For several
hours yesterday afternoon i had gusts above 50kn
and seas to 40′, terracing very confused as there
were seas from NW, Sw, W all colliding causing
very steep 20’sea conditions. Inspired Insanity
took 20+ hard hits over yesterday and last night.
I set several warps to help to keep II from turning
into the waves but during the confused seas, it
was not successful at preventing hits from all
sides. I stayed out on deck for the entire period
of confusion, not sure what i could do to insure
we would not capsize. One wave came at us so tall,
lifting the entire port stern perpendicular to
the sea, i am holding on to the lifeline,nearly
on the rail, as the SB stern scooped the cockpit
full of water as more rushed along the deck refilling
as we came level for another hit to bash into the
port side. Water had crushed up nearly covering
me in the process. We leveled out beautifully
and I went about bailing the cockpit, absolutely
full, sloshing water up under the lazarette hatch.
Each bit i bailed decreased the water along with
the scuppers draining. In only a minute, the bilge
pump had emptied the bilge. The water the flushed
across the salon floor would drain quickly down
the edged of the wood where the hull is exposed
from years of wet, but now creating a perfect drain.
The port salon porthole had begun to leak with
the high pressure of the hard hits and had taken
a hit so there was water sprayed across the boat,
but all the electronics are safely away in water
tight boxes. I have more clothes, towels and soon
the conditions will get better. It is now 1300
UTC and the winds have finally diminished to 25-30kn.
I’ll spend the rest of the day hauling out sail
while the winds clock around and settle down. But tomorrow there is another front due to come
through with 30+kn of wind. It is a fast moving
front so it will go quickly and then the conditions
will change. Today it is only 49*f, but by this
afternoon, with the lighter winds and sunshine,
it will warm up. That will really feel good. the
seas will slowly settle down. it is going to still
be a bit rough. We are a wet boat, but safe and
sound. I have to say, Ken Barnes was on my mind.
It was dangerous conditions. Luckily only confused
like that for a few hours, but big and still hitting
hard otherwise. Just a second ago, I took another
hit. As I am typing, the winds are really lulliing.
I will be chasing the wind around today. I’m pooped.
Relieved. I had hoped to avoid such a big storm.
This was bigger and more challenging than any
I have done since Cape Hope, though the seas didn’t
rise to nearly the height then. I was reminded
of the North Atlantic storms. Fear was with me
yesterday, but i truly felt the love that was surrounded
me and there was a peace and a knowing that we
would be OK. Hang on to me with all those amazing
hugs and energy kisses. Gonna still be a long
few days. This coast of ARgentina and Brazil has
lots of potential surprises. But I would say that
this storm should be my last southern ocean ‘storm’.
Hallelujah!! Bob was suggesting 60*f tomorrow.
Sounds great. Thanks to Bob, Kym, Wolfgang, for
the radio support. (7044 @1000UTC, 3790 @ 2330UTC,
8164 @ 1200UTC). Biggest hugs to all, xoxox d


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