The doldrums at the equator are known for wide swaths of calm and raging rain squalls that can spin the wind around the clock and have you chasing your tail like a confused dog. I'm still along way from the actual doldrums but I feel like I'm getting a good warm up. First I had the calms and now the squalls. Since sun down yesterday I have been sailing upwind against a constant deluge of isolated black storm clouds and their associated rains and wind shifts.
I haven't slept more than a few minutes at a time as I set my alarm for a 20 minute nap only for the boat to lean over heavily as the stronger wind announces the arrival of a new cloud. I scramble out into the cockpit to ease the sheets and trim the boat, drenched alternatively in warm salt spray and icy cold rain that pelts against the bare skin of my back. In the middle of it all my sleep alarm sounds its screech and flashing strobe light announcing the folly of my attempted nap.
The cloud passes, the boat stands up. We're now under powered. Adjust the sails. Back on track, all ok. Maybe I can sleep now? Ah, what's that? The stars wink out ahead, blanketed by the next cloud. Here we go again!