Ne Plus Ultra

…except for us, roaring west in bags of wind. We left Gibraltar at 2 pm in a levanter, the moist easterly wind which cloaks the Rock with a plume of cloud and funnels west through the Pillars of Hercules, sometimes with great force. When the levanter blows you have to avoid a contrary tide, which can make transit of the Straits very uncomfortable, if not dangerous.

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Straits venturi

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Out from the lee of the land the easterly was gusting to 40 knots and the seas were lumpy, but we ran at 8-11 knots. With just our yankee up we made short work of the 35 mile leg to the tiderace at the corner at Tangier, where the wind lost some of its force and we romped south through the night with 25-30 knots across the deck.

By 10 the following morning, after hoisting the double- reefed main, shaking out the the second reef and then the first before hoisting the staysail inside the yankee, the breeze fell away to nothing. By noon Henry Ford was in charge and Tainui rolled and slopped in the residual swell. Of course her skipper was not happy about this.

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