Day One, on passage for Faial
05 June 2009 | 29 13.0'N:15 35.0'W
N 10kt, vis good, 1023mb, rising slowly
Thursday June 4 - After a superb job provisioning and organising me for the ocean, Pat flew home this evening at 2045; I had planned to sail on Friday, but with 18kts from the North, clear skies and a 7/8ths Moon, there was no way I would waste such a night sleeping! So VIENTE sailed from Marina Rubicon at 2245.
With reefed Main & Genoa, in anticipation of the 'Wind Acceleration Zone' off the SW corner of Lanzarote, we romped away for Punta Peshigua LH; Winds did pipe up to 24kts briefly but the seas were easy and by 0010hrs the reefs were out and we were slipping along in quiet seas, on the wind at 7+ knots, through a beautiful, bright moonlit night. 'Nigel' (ace crew - Hydrovane vane steering gear) is doing his usual stuff - holding a very steady course at 43deg to the (apparent) wind. With the dawn, the winds backed to NNW and unfortunately we have a SW setting current (1+ kts), so although Nigel is steering close to the rhumb line course, this 'weather bowing' of the current makes our track over the ground look rather sad.
It was a busy night for shipping; how sailing has changed since we used to bumble around the oceans with no electronics and just a three mile horizon around us. Now with the GPS based Automatic Identification System gizmo we can see traffic out to 80nm - loads of leviathons transiting the Canary Islands. Mostly we were the 'stand on' vessel; we can monitor (on the AIS digital readout) the ship as she alters her course to pass astern. Not forgetting:
"Paddy O'Day, who died maintaining his right of way He was right, DEAD right, as he stood on But he's just as DEAD as if he was wrong"
So it's fingers crossed that the breeze holds; but with a HIGH Ridge forecast for Sunday, looks like we may need the iron topsail for a day or two. Alls well.