July 24th, 02:15 utc – lat 23 45 N, lon 147 13 W
The Squalls are monsters. They just swallow you up if you are on the wrong board. If you are on the right board, you can ride them for hours and make great progress. The thing about them is that they grow and grow throughout the evening and the night, and then in the morning the sun hits their tops and fuels the inferno. We were slow this morning because of the blob on our keel. Bad luck. Two knots slower and therefore instead of pacing the squall we get gobbled up by it and at the back end we are becalmed for hours. The good news is that this gave us an opportunity to get rid of the blob on the keel as planned. Now the boat feels better. What a difference.
Last night, as we were battling the elements, it was Green Day’s “Longview,” Dire Straits’
“Sultan’s of Swing” and last, but not least, the Aria of “The Queen of the Night” from the Magic Flute. That was quite a multimedia production: huge squall clouds engulfing us while “The Queen of the Night” is belting one of the world’s most stunning musical achievements. We had front row seats: spectators, but actors mostly. As if Poseidon was having a grand time throwing us curve balls.
The gradient breeze is light, around 9 knots and that is what we get in the clearings, where we are now. So we look for the monster squall and try to ride them through the night.
We are Squall-Busters. So now I am trying to use the on-board radar system to measure the level of activity of each squall. We are at the testing phase: observation, reasoning and then tonight we will experiment.