Firefly, 8 December 2001: Whatever happened to the Trades?

Firefly, 8 December 2001
18° 18 N 48° 41W
Distance to St Lucia 750 nm

They are big, they are black and you can see them coming, even on a dark, moonless night, crouching and threatening on the horizon. On the radar they appear as huge blooms as you track them and ask ‘will it, won’t it?’

I speak, of course, of tropical squalls, and in the last 18 hours we have seen a succession of them coming over, the sky behind is wall to wall grey black and when the do come they bring wind, torrential rain, neither or both. Which explains why since 1800 yesterday we have had two reefs down, since the early hours of this morning three reefs and a scrap of a jib as the wind tops at well over 30 knots, the boat speed an uncontrollable surf ride down the front of large, steep seas and the Autohelm click clunking as it bravely copes.

For the latest ARC report from Firefly, click on the links on the ybw and Yachting World homepages.