After lockdown had ended in July 2020, I rushed back to the boat which had been moored up in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria for over 8 months. Apart from being covered in sand, Shadowfax was fine!
I then planned to sailed singlehanded to the Azores, where I’d rendezvous with Emmie for the passage back to the UK. The passage to the Azores was my longest and first offshore singlehanded passage. However I got a little bit more than I bargained for when sailed through Madeira’s acceleration zone where I encountered sustained 45kt winds and gusts well above.
I ripped the mainsail trying to reef and then the engine packed up. I felt I had no option but to deploy my Jordan Series Drogue given my in ability to heave-to and the frequency of break waves as night fell. Here is a short film of the passage!
Below is a more concise version of the film above with additional technical info about the deployment bag, bridles, chafe risk and the chain places.