15:12 HST (01:15 UTC August 17)
Lat: 34 57.6 North
Lon: 151 32.8 West
Last night, the wind picked up to 30 knots plus. We were caught with our pants down around our ankles. The Navigator (me) had said that the wind shouldn't blow all that hard. Well . . . . . it blew pretty darn hard and the corresponding seas matched. We were using the genoa, not the smaller jib that we use most of the time. The problem is the genoa is lighter and doesn't reef (get smaller – less sail area) very well. We also couldn't roll it up all the way because in the heavy air the roll was so tight that we ran out of line to roll it up. This morning at 4:30am during an attempt to reduce sail, the lazy jib sheet got hung up on the inner stay. While trying to clear it, we bore away to keep the jib from flogging. While I was on the foredeck, Jorge(the autopilot) decided he couldn't handle the downwind conditions and turned himself off. The boat accidentally jibed. Luckily, no damage other than a broken traveler line. Consequently, we had an “all hands on deck” call to get a second reef in the main and to get the boat back on the proper course. Things were a bit exciting last night.
During the morning hours the wind died and we took the opportunity to change sails back to the smaller jib. It's a good thing we did, because the wind picked up again from the South and we are now sailing downwind in 20 knots of wind and very confused seas. Not all that comfortable. The weather has definitely changed as well. We now have a constant drizzle with a marine layer overcast skies.
Jorge has been acting up. After working flawlessly for 4 days, he has now started faulting fairly regularly. I took out the drive motor and took it apart to see if there was anything obviously wrong. I didn't really find anything. The motor was quite hot when I took it out so I decided to slow down the rudder response so the drive motor wouldn't work so hard. It does seem to be better, but does cut out every so often. Bummer!!! Hopefully, it will last for this trip and our cruising in Canada.
Last evening, we watched the movie “Tropic Thunder” which was a lot of fun. We had chicken tacos for dinner as well. Today, we mostly are trying to catch up on sleep and stay dry, so we are all below. Well .. .. .. it's bouncy and I'm tired of looking at a screen, so I think I'll sign off for now. All is well aboard Capaz and we are making good time!