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11/16 - 12h57

Gybe, Gybe, Gybe

After a brief respite from squalls yesterday morning, the afternoon brought enormous systems that stretch for hundreds of miles. Campagne de France was sailing along in 20 knots of breeze under a clear blue sky.  Suddenly the wind disappeared. Many, many miles away to windward, an enormous squall monster was on a feeding frenzy, sucking all the wind for miles around. I couldn't avoid it by gybing anyway, so waited. Eventually it arrived, and with it, an hour and a half of good fast sailing heading directly for the mark. There were several monsters around, and the boat just happened to be well-placed for the down draft once the feeding was over and the rain started. Needless to say, eventually the ride came to an end, and the wind disappeared again. Miles gained given up almost immediately.
The night has so far been squall-free, but I seem to be sailing inside out, on the wrong gybe all the time. Every time I gybe, having waited to be sure it's the right thing to do, all goes ell for about 20 minutes after the gybe, then the wind shifts again... Utterly tedious. Gybing takes up time and energy (in reasonably short supply tonight), and there always seems to be 20 + knots when it comes to socking the spinnaker by hand. Halvard did ask me a few months ago if I wanted a winch on the mast and/ or sock lines long enough to reach the winches in the cockpit. I said no, I'm used to it. Hmmm.
The only excitement yesterday was the display in the cockpit, which shows bearing and distance to waypoint, actually started showing distance as it only reads it once under 1000 miles. A moment of pure elation!
 Meantime when the wind disappears, the waves don't, so it is horrendous, and v difficult to keeep sails filled and moving.
Breeze is very up and down tonight.
Need to gybe AGAIN

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