01 Mar 2011 - Las Galletas, Tenerife - Knocked Down!
Las Galletas, Spain
We left Pasito Blanco this morning at 10:00 am and for the first 2.5 hours it was very pleasant and sunny. These islands are very rugged and lots of places rise straight up out of the ocean for hundreds of feet. These areas are totally inaccessible and look the same today as in 1492 when Columbus left San Sebastion for the new world.
But these islands are cursed with a phenomena called acceleration zones and they are very predictable. If the wind is 10 knots outside the zones they can be 30 knots or more in the zone. Today they were more. Within an hour after entering the zone the winds increased to 40 knots with gusts up to 50. On the Beaufort scale that is a force 8 or severe gale conditions.
It was so bad that the instructor had to take the helm and basically take over. We slugged through that for 4 hours. We got knocked down twice. I lost my new Sailing hat and my sunglasses over the side.
The first time we got knocked down, I had just gone below to put on some warmer clothes and found myself thrown from one side of the cabin to the other. It knocked the wind out of me but luckily I didn't hit anything sharp. I just laid on the floor for a while. I was covered with food and drink cartons that got thrown out off the shelves.
I crawled to my cabin, got my warm clothes on and went back topside. Topside is the safest place to be because it is mandatory to wear a safety harness and lifejacket but below there is nothing to hang on to.
On top of all that, one of the main reef lines broke and the jib roller reefing jammed. So we had to cut 17 miles off our planned destination and pull into the home port of Las Galletas. No one was disappointed!
So it is 7:30pm and everyone is back from showers.