0646 utc 50/55S 137/38E, speed 11 knots, solent and 2 reefs in the mainsail, course 090T.

Well the gales and the lows that have crushed us for a week are gone for now, which sounds as though we must be mightily relieved, and we are, except for what has happened in the aftermath. Not quite fetching the west end of the east Australian ice gate, I gybed last night northeast, to get to more wind on the grib file. The file showed a little wave, a smaller front, that would roll through during the night. It had 15-20 knots of wind. That was in the computer file. On deck, we had a series of squalls in the high 30s, then in the high 40s, seeing 48 knots in 3 different squalls. Between these, the wind would drop to 12 knots. What to do with the sails? Go up tentatively, and come down in a panic. At one point, I went from 2 reefs to 3 and rolled the solent entirely with the biggest blackest cloud in the book about a half mile astern and coming fast. Finally, with 3 reefs and no jib, I trusted the pilot and climbed into the sleeping bag, there was nothing i could do on deck to stabilize this weather or our sailing, so might as well try to rest rather than exhaust myself.

Finally it has stabilized at 25+/- and we’re moving with solent and two reefs, still a bit tentative.

A milestone today, we passed the west end of the east Australian ice gate, so one more mark checked off.