18 May 2019 | 38:31N 037:37W
Trip:1379 Distance to Waypoint 423; Bearing to Waypoint 087deg 38deg 31'N 037deg 37'W COG: 092 SOG:7.6 Wind SSW f4-5
Boat time 14:00 (UT-3)
Stormy weather ahead!
We have done well on this passage so far to avoid any adverse weather, we have managed to keep a nice following wind throughout the passage thus far, sailing the fine line between the bottom of the fronts passing to the north of us and the area of high pressure and light winds to the south of us. This has had the added bonus that with the high to the south of us and that being the direction the swell is coming from the sea has been relatively calm, thus with the fair wind we have been making good speed through the water. On top of that the current has definitely been in our favour constantly over the past 24hrs. Over the past day noon to noon, we have done 140NM through the water averaging 5.83knts, but we have progressed towards our waypoint 160nm over ground, our speed over ground averaging 6.66kts...on average we have benefited from 0.833kts of current, which is handy, giving us an extra 20nm per day free. At the moment the current is varying in direction from NE to SE anywhere between 0.5kts up to 2.0kts. earlier on the passage sometimes is was with us and other times against us, but all in all giving us a net gain, with a strong NE flow and weaker NW flows or even SW flow, but for now definitely in our favour :) But all is not good in the forecast for our last 24 hours at sea on this passage with two fronts coming through Monday night through to Tuesday morning bringing rain and strong winds with gusts up to 35-40kts with a nominal wind speed of 25kts. Much as we encountered early on on a our passage to Bermuda a few weeks ago.
We shall reduce to three reefs and hoist the storm jib, we already have the secondary forestay in place for the Yankee jib we are using. We can use the stay sail to adjust speed.
Our route eta is hovering around late afternoon Monday 20/05 to before noon Tuesday 21/05. We are certainly getting a good and consistent wind at the moment SW f4-5 which is pushing us along at 6.5kts and current giving us a lift on average of 1kt to NE to SE. It looks as though the harbour at Horta is safely accessible in all weather and looks as though we should get shelter from the sea and hopefully from the wind once inside.
We had been getting a few flying fish leaping on board earlier on board when the sea temperature was higher but since it has dropped to below 22 degrees C, now at 20 degrees C, we have not had any for a couple of days now, but, a wave had managed to deposit a squid on to the side deck yesterday, which I am sure that brother Damon would have told me to use as a lure, so I did...but still did not manage to catch anything. The squid has now gone and now my hook is caught up on the safety lanyard that is tied to the Hydrovane rudder...where it shall stay for the remainder of this passage. Other than that not a lot of wildlife, a pod of 4 or 5 dolphins swam with us for a while yesterday morning and last night in the darkness just before dawn a bird was hovering around, I think he wanted land on the bimini top, but the wind generator was putting him off. I could not make it out properly and assume it have been a seabird but it did not look the right shape in the darkness, more like a pigeon, that had perhaps lost its way or a migrant on transit from somewhere to somewhere else.
Richard and Alison yacht Cerulean of Penryn
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