19 May 2019 | 38:31N 034:16W
Trip:1521 Distance to Waypoint 265; Bearing to Waypoint 089deg 38deg 31'N 034deg 15'W COG: 0103 SOG:6.0 Wind SW f4
Boat time 15:30 (UT-3)
Watching the weather.
The British are renowned for there preoccupation of talking about the weather...is it going to rain today? shall I take an umbrella? turned out nice again...and all that.
Well for yachtsmen and seafarers the world over taking about and watching the weather is part of everyday life and a necessity, to ensure a safe and comfortable passage as possible...it may safe your life.
We know that we have some adverse weather coming from our forecasts, the Admiral, Alison's brother sends me a daily forecasts and updates, and I am able to download grib files via Satellite phone and SSB radio and modem. This information is essential to give us and indication of what is happening and is going to happen, but they are only forecasts based on computer generated models. What is important is what is happening out in the field. or in our case in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean or to be more precise at 38deg 31'N 034deg 15'W and beyond. We are fortunate enough on this passage to be able to discuss and plan our route of having company in the form of another yacht we have been passage making with SY Emotion.
A low is is supposed to be approaching us from the west and it is supposed to be bringing with it strong winds and rain. We need top be prepared and make sure the boat i s prepared, items are secured and we have shortened sail in good time. We intend to hoist the storm jib and put the third reef into the main. All these jobs require working on the foredeck, which in the wind and sea we have at the moment is relatively safe and easy to do, but, if you leave it too late and you are in a rough sea and strong winds it becomes a whole lot harder and the risks are greater, of damaging or loosing gear, injury and possible falling overboard.
This might not be of interest to some of you and others may find it intersting
I started watching the weather more closely when I went on watch yesterday morning:
04:00 The sun rose 10 minutes later behind low cloud on the horizon, 10 minutes later it was a golden shining orbe above the clouds spreading a warm glow, above us 7/8ths cloud cover Wind SW f4. Barometer 1025
05:00 Blue sky overhead and to the south of us some fair weather clouds to the south of us. Hazy on the horizon; Thickening cloud to the west and north of us. 3/8th cloud
06:00; 7/8ths cloud all around us; some blue patches above us; could see high altitude cirrus clouds aboce alto sirrus. SW 5; 1025mb
08:00; 3/8th cloud again. this time mackerel skies (Cirrocumulus), sign of approaching front 6-12hrs. Thick and layered cloud to far north and far west; blue sky to east and south disappearing into a hazy horizon.; SW f5; 1026mb
09:00; 4/8ths cloud; mackerel skies being enveloped from below by thickening altostratus clouds ; SW 4; 1025mb
10:00; 4/8the cloud; altosrtatus; SW 4; 1026mb
12:00; 5/8th cloud; thin wispy Cirrus all around; some blue sky patches; SW4; 1023mb
Altered heading from due east 089deg to EES 103 to take us further away from centre of storm and give us a better angle on wind to Horta once front has passed and wind backed to west.
14:00; 4/8th cloud; mackerel sky (Cc) and mares tails (Ci), classic sign of approaching warm front in 12-15hrs; SW4; 1023mb
15:00; 5/8th cloud; mackerel sky being envelope from below by Altostratus; SW4; 1023mb
16:00; 5/8th cloud; much of the medium level altostratus has cleared leaving high level cirrus wisps; large patches of blue sky; wisps of cirrus; Mackerel sky to west; SW 4-5 1023mb;
16:30: Mackerel sky and mares tails being enveloped by lower level Altrostratus clouds Took down yankee jib and hoisted the storm jib in its place, whilst it was still daylight and relatively calm; set stay sail as well; still 2 reefs in main; still making good speed over 6kts; wind now gusting 25kts; 1023mb
18:23; 3/8th cloud clearing; SW4; 1023mb
20:00 Put 3rd reef into mainsail; still making 6kts; motion more comfortable
21:00; 3/8th Mares tails; thickening Altostratus from behind; SW5; 1023mb
22:00; clear sky
20/05 00:00 6/8ths mackerel sky being enveloped form below by altostratus; halo around moon SW 5-6; 1023mnb
02:00; 8/8th Altostratus; SW 5-6; 1022mb
04:00; 6/8th Altostratus above; mares tails ahead SW4-5; 1022mb
07:00; 4/8th Mackerel aky and mares tails dotted around in all directions; lots of blue sky around; thick layered darker cloud on horizon to west; ...all looks quite beautiful at the moment, but is sign of adverse weather approaching 12-24hrs; SW f4-5 1021mb
We are now about 30 hrs from Horta.
We have a constant succession over the past 24hrs of mackerel skies and mares tail covered and then uncovered by layered altostratus cloud from below, changing every couple of hours or so. I do know why this has been, may be a series of small fronts passing; visibility has been good through out all of this and we have not had any rain...may be we are traveling at similar speed to the weather system and not letting it catch up.
The surface pressure has remained quite high, my grib files tell me that it should be 1017-1019mb rather than 1025-1021 we have been reading, but the barometer is slowly going down.
I am expecting the front to be upon us in 9-10hrs time by 20:00UT today 20/05 17:00 boat time (UT-3) then we should have an increase in wind strength may be 30kts+ and lots of rain; the cold front then passing tomorrow morning 21/05 06:00UT 03:00 boat time; and then the wind to back and go round to the west and reduce a bit, and then the rain might stop, and we can then alter course directly to Horta by then will be another half day or so arriving mid afternoon tomorrow 21/05.
We shall see how things pan out.
Richard and Alison yacht Cerulean of Penryn
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