Yesterday afternoon, becalmed after going through yet another squall, we drifted across an invisible line and finally stumbled into the Trade Winds! The wind picked up in a matter of minutes and stayed with us. In fact by midnight it became a bit too much for comfort necessitating another reef in the main and replacement of the big Genoa with the smaller Stay sail. While the trades make you move they also build up the sea. Also since they are blowing from exactly the same direction we need to go, we have to sail close to them and the resultant swell. The result is that Mhadei has been tossing and slamming around as if possesed! Needless to say everything onboard has to be done slowly, mostly with one hand, the other being busy holding on to the nearest handhold. Often the waves wash over the boat so all Port holes need to be closed, making the insides warm & humid and you get drenched with salt water sitting on the deck.
This state is likely to continue for a week atleast with the weather forecast promising 26 kts of breeze and 5 mtr waves in the next two days! We are also getting slowly pushed to the West due to the direction of the wind and the waves which means once we are South of the trade winds we will need to travel that much more to the East. Well as of now there is nothing much we can do about it but grin and bear it or on the tossing Mhadei it should be "grip and bear it"! Though this is anyday better than the wallowing around in the doldrums. The squalls have reduced in their frequency and intensity. Also since we are already moving with reduced sail, when a squall hits it cannot do as much damage as when under full sails. The cook has started serving quick fix meals of almost ready to eat food instead of the elaborate menus of dosas and hot "Dal - Chawal"!
Tonight, as I write, there is a glorious full moon up in the sky. We left B'bay on a new moon. Its been 15 days and 2200 Nm so far. Wondering whether we will make it by the next new moon!