Rocking and Rolling in Gubal Strait

Sunny Spells is just inside Gubal Strait at the southern end of Suez Gulf.

We have about half a knot of north setting current with us and gusty E-SE wind, 10 to 30 knots true. We had a very nice day of downwind sailing with 15 knots over the starboard quarter the whole day. We poled out the headsail (goosewing) and hand-steered. Just before the Strait the weather looked ominous: dark clouds and big dust clouds. The wind dropped to 5 knots. We rolled away the headsail, put 3 reefs in the main and motored. Now we have a gusty southerly that fluctuates from 5 to 25 knots apparent without warning and direction between dead square and on the starboard beam. Must be turbulence caused by all the mountains either side of the Gulf. We have doused the main sail completely and now have about half the headsail set on starboard tack. We are running the motor to keep momentum in the lulls and surfing the gusts. As I write, the wind has gone dead square and less than 5 knots apparent so now we have only a small little triangle of headsail out for stability.

Position 27° 40.372′ N 33° 56.353′ E
COG 319T
SOG 6.0kt
Log 11,317 nm
Engine 401.2 h

Lat 27.672867: Lon 33.939217

En route, off Hurghada

For once, the actual wind has turned out to be consistent with the GRIB forecast model. The wind dropped steadily overnight and by midnight it was pretty much calm and the sea state had abated to nothing more than a barely perceptible undulation. We also have a very weak north setting current helping us along, so around 23:00 last night we reduced power to 1,850 RPM to preserve fuel. Expecting to get a little push from the southerlies this afternoon and for the current to get a little stronger as we enter the Suez Gulf. Fairly positive we will be within easy striking distance of Port Suez tomorrow evening.

Position 26° 46.642′ N 34° 18.331′ E
COG 345T
SOG 5.5kt
Log 11,247 nm
Engine 395.2 h

Lat 26.777367: Lon 34.305517