Dark Horse Update 7.5 (2:30 PM PST)
The past couple days have been very trying. Monday the seaway was starting to build, I was making my way down after a short night sleep due to little squalls all night that kept the wind shifting so I had to constantly trim sails and change course all night. Monday afternoon my rudder started to shake pretty bad. Wind was in the 20’s with 8’ seas. I was really hoping it wasn’t major, I wouldn’t know what to do if it was in those conditions. I replaced the bearings and the rudder is brand new, so I was just hoping seaweed or something. So I took the headsail down and faced into the wind a couple times. The great thing about Olson 30’s is that their rudder turns 360 degrees. So after spinning it, whatever was down there freed up and came off. Tuesday the seas were the same but a cross swell started in the afternoon. When one of the big main swells met one of big cross swells, the main swell picked up the boat like it usually does, but the cross swell hit at the same time flipping the boat on its side pretty violently. Immediately the boat was knocked over and it catapulted me out of the cockpit and I landed in the water by the boom. I grabbed on to whatever I could and crawled back into the cockpit before the boat came back up. Luckily I was wing on wing with no pole, so when the boat came back up, it was naturally hove to. Quick report was a damaged solar panel and looking on the horizon was a big squall that was causing the cross swells. I only had time to repack my life jacket and get back on deck to secure the panel and get ready for the squall. I ended up cutting the wires to the one panel even though it was tied to the second panel, and I’m glad I did because a little bit later another wave took the whole panel. It would have ripped out the wires to the other one and left me with no panels on the back. I spent that whole night soaking wet, sitting backwards in the cockpit steering according to the waves. Wind was at least 40 knots. It was squall after squall for at least 12 hours. I did not take my eye off the sea at all and doubled up on tethers. Without enough charging capabilities with one panel, I hand steered all Day yesterday and last night as well as looking out for squalls. Today I was able to rewire a spare panel and charge controller to the battery and is charging pretty decent with plenty of sun. I also fixed a couple other boat things. I had a chance today to rest for a couple hours and cleanup from the knock down. Looks like 3 more days till Hanalei, looking forward to getting there.