Northern Child Day 14 – The first squall after 14 days

With apologies to the weather gods for having suggested yesterday that the ARC was reminiscent of a “bus ride”, I take back everything I wrote in yesterday’s blog.  Within hours of sending the blog, clouds covered the sky for the first time since we started on Nov.  24, and not much later we were in the midst of our first squall.
Winds increased from a steady 15 to 20 kts to as much as 40 kts within a minute, changing direction from East to South East with lightning all around us lighting up a pitch dark sky. As a sign of the wind’s brutal force, the headsail pole track broke off the mast creating a moment of concern for the safety of the sails and crew, but thanks to expert sailing of Arie, we managed to retrieve the situation and bring matters quickly under control.  Some of the less experienced crew were perhaps a bit worried, but with hindsight they loved the experience of being in a storm following two weeks of relatively calm weather, no milk run today.  Apart from the strong winds, the hardship really was coming from eight hours of uninterrupted heavy rainfall. One lesson to be learned: bring your oilies on any and all sailing trips because the weather can always play surprising tricks on you.  Once the weather calmed down around sunrise, we were able to dry our drenched cloths in the much welcomed tropical sunshine.  
We continue to head west at around 6kts an hour, on our way to St. Lucia, where we expect to arrive before the end of the week.  
Position:  14.22.20 N; 53.19.14W.