03 March 2010
It's been a few days since I've seen the sun. Persistent overcast skies and rain with gusty winds have been the conditions the last few days. Towards sunset yesterday, breaks in the clouds started to appear. The weather forecast indicates that I'm in a Q-STNR. I'm not sure what a Q-STNR is, other than some stationary system with a lot of rain (I think O-STNR would be an occluded stationary front).
I've had basically favorable winds for the last several days, which has been great. Wind speeds and, to a lesser extent, direction have changed often while in this weather system. The first night in this system the winds were varying back and forth between Force 4 and 8, making for a lot of sail changes. The winds have lightened and continue to lighten, and are expected to become calm soon.
For the northbound passage that I am doing, the start is expected to be the most difficult part, when winds are variable (but usually against you) and the current is always against you, and there are few places available to sit out gales (which are also more common south). The farther north, the more consistent the winds get, as one gets into the trade winds. That said, of course, it all depends on the weather you actually get, not on what can be considered likely. So far, it's been easier the farther north I've gotten.