Friday, May 14, 2010

Blown back in to Pictou

Well if we can depend on anything it appears we can depend on very changeable weather. The repairs were completed on the exhaust cooling system yesterday. It required special stainless steel welding which was not as easy to access hence the delay. Once mobile we decided to get on with progress on our next leg to Caraquet, and got away mid afternoon. We were well rested and raring to go.

We set up a new set of waypoints to allow for the new wind direction, set the autopilot and off we were. The winds were good and solid but in our face coming from the north. Once clear of the harbour we could see on our radar some squalls approaching from the north. First squall was no problem as was the next. Each brought with it some strong winds for which we adjusted the sails.

The third squall though was another story. The sky darkened, now the boat speed dropped right off, resulting in autopilot malfunction and the JAFTICA began to veer to the south towards land. The lack of control of the vessel was quite disconcerting especially when heading towards land. We started the engine which gave us control back but at this point it was uncertain which way the wind was coming from. Also we anticipated sailing in tight navigation quarters and it would happen during the night. The waves were also building up again.

That's enough we agreed. Our closest port was Pictou so we returned there for the night.

We had another restful sleep in harbour. The loss of this day of travel was critical though. We are approaching the point of no return for Caraquet. Captain and I agreed that we should now reexamine our options. Captain has contacts in Caraquet, and familiarity with and access to friends and excellent support in Pictou and Ballantynes Cove and nothing in between. At our current rate of progress and our time constraint it became obvious that Caraquet was now beyond our reach.

No comments:

Post a Comment