The rain poured down this morning. Lightning struck in the distance and the thunder rolled on and on through the fog, a deep groaning like a distant freight train, at once a little frightening, but more so overwhelmingly beautiful. We're rounding Cape Race as I write, only a few miles offshore, though we don't yet have land in sight. Birds surround the boat, swooping and diving and swimming. They land on the water and stick their heads under for a look around. Yesterday a particularly curious one kept landing on the water just where a family of porpoises had surfaced, dunking his head under to try and catch a glimpse. This game of 'tag' continued for several minutes, though the dolphins always got the best of the bird. We can just now hear the lonely fog horn signal from Cape Race Lighthouse somewhere off the port beam.
We hit a log last night. I think it was a log. Though I've not taken a regular watch on this trip, instead being constantly 'on-call' (in fact, as it's raining and thundering right this moment, I'm dressed in my foulies at the nav station, ready to pop outside at a moment's notice), I joined Mia on the 21-00 watch last night. It was a motorboat watch. We were making about 5 knots in heavy fog when I felt an ominous 'thud.' My first instinct was something in the rig broke. But we didn't have any sail up. I looked behind us just in time to see something bobbing just below the surface. I wish I could say it was a bergy bit! But I'm pretty sure it was a log. Fog or no fog, we'd never have seen it. A quick check under the forepeak bunks revealed no obvious damage. I hung off the bow with a spotlight & couldn't find anything there either. It was just a glancing blow anyhow, and old Isbjorn is tough enough to take it. One of those 'chance' items in ocean sailing you worry about but
have no control over.
For the past 24-hours it's been challenging light-air sailing. Sails up with the slightest puff, sails down, engine on in the calms. It's just a tad too rolly to keep the main up in the calms - it slats itself to death, and I can't bear treating the new sail like that! So we've lowered and re-hoisted the mainsail probably six times now since leaving Louisbourg. But I guess it's too much to ask to sit out a gale and then expect a perfect 15 knots of wind to follow!
The latest VHF weather forecast claims the wind will return today as we meander up the east coast the last 60 miles to St. John's. We're sailing now, though it's just gone very light again when the rain and thunder stopped.