ZEPHYR

18 May 2021 | 49 20'N:4 30'W, Western Approaches
17 May 2021 | 44 05'N:007 00'W, Middle of Biscay
16 May 2021 | 44 22'N:009 26'W, 80 miles NE of Coruna
15 May 2021 | 42 03'N:10 23'W, 50 miles from Finisterre
14 May 2021 | 38 51'N:9 32'W, Offshore Lisbon
13 May 2021
12 May 2021 | 38 41.417'N:9 25.116'W, Cascais
12 May 2021 | 38 41.417'N:9 25.116'W, Cascais
10 May 2021 | 36 33'N:12 27'W, 200 miles SW of Cascais
09 May 2021 | 33 23.96'N:13 33.54'W, 300 miles west of Casablanca
08 May 2021 | 28 52.5'N:13 43.77'W, 200 miles offshore from Agadir
07 May 2021 | 28 52.5'N:13 43.77'W, Lanzarote
27 December 2020
08 December 2020 | 28 44.146'N:13 49.499'W, Los Lobos
07 December 2020 | 28 12.478'N:14 01.185'W, Gran Tarajal
06 December 2020 | 28 7.514'N:15 25.532'W, Las Palmas
16 October 2020
15 October 2020 | 30 29'N:13 11'W,
14 October 2020 | 33 09'N:12 19'W,

A Cacophony of Chaos

18 May 2021 | 49 20'N:4 30'W, Western Approaches
DS
We rounded Ushant at breakfast time and, against all the odds, found ourselves romping along under spinnaker under clear blue skies. And so it went for many hours but of course it wasn't to last... First the wind picked up, quickly followed by a spinnaker wrap around the retrieval line (no damage MG!). Once we had that beast wrestled to the ground, then the steering needed checking, two squalls in quick succession, reefs in, reefs out, back in again, and out again, etc etc.

Finally all was calm, order restored - albeit under grey rainy skies but that's what we know and expect - when we came across a life raft... A 16 man raft, with no-one on board, was not what you expect to find floating in the English Channel shipping lanes. Duly reported to Falmouth, on our way to Lymington ETA late tomorrow afternoon.

Micky is in the galley tonight. Judging by the prep time and the number of implements and pans used, we should be in for a treat. Has been a terrific passage with a great crew and some brilliant, sometimes challenging, sailing.

Yachtsmen and Teddy Bears

17 May 2021 | 44 05'N:007 00'W, Middle of Biscay
DS
Last night a steady Force 7 (for some unknown reason also known as a yachtsman's gale - or at least that's what Chris C has told us), had Zephyr storming across lower Biscay on the heels of a full gale that had passed just ahead. Feels like we caused a fair amount of confusion on some bridge decks last night, with huge commercial ships scattering left and right trying to keep clear of us. It's hard work keeping a constant course in the seas we have.

And those lumpy seas, left behind by the gale, means working in the galley is challenging. As Micky noted yesterday, the ears of a teddy bear were seen peeking out of the pram during dinner prep last night as the peaches and cream - mostly the cream - exited the bowls and coated the galley, not once but twice. Lunch today is spag/bol so hoping not to have the same experience again.

The winds are forecast to slowly ease as the low moves away although we haven't seen much evidence of that yet. What we have seen is that, on the back of the cold front, the temperature has dropped and, for the first time on this trip, there's a nip in the air and some extra layers of clothes are needed.

Crew and all else well. ETA Ushant, breakfast time tomorrow.

Days of Glory

16 May 2021 | 44 22'N:009 26'W, 80 miles NE of Coruna
MStA
As the sun heads down towards the horizon and the dolphins accelerate through the surf, Zephyr comes to the end of a day full of excitement.

Having slowed down yesterday to allow the impending storm to pass ahead, we wanted to make sure that the forecast that we had receieved by satphone was as accurate as possible. We called on two friends onshore to share the best weather forecast available. One came through triumphantly, the other is still trying to locate the correct website!

After a relatively tranquil night, the strengthening breeze ecouraged us to put away the genoa and set the working jib with 2 reefs in the main.. With a brief respite back to the genoa and one reef, we have reverted back to more conservative mode but have still been doing a steady 8-9 knots, with Richard achieving the day record of 14.95 knots.

Today's picture shows David and his nephew enjoying a fine cigar after a particularly delicious dinner from Tim, whose frustration with his confusedly embossed ingredients, led him to paths of creativity he was unaware of!

We are now well past Finisterre but keeping out of the Bay of Biscay and hope to reach Ushent by Tuesday morning and Lymington some time the following day. The sea is quite chunky providing interesting challenges for David whose is trying to prepare supper, which is interrupted by expletives as the third box of cream flies across the galley.

Such is life at sea.

The Cruel Sea

15 May 2021 | 42 03'N:10 23'W, 50 miles from Finisterre
RS
We were cracking on this morning but this afternoon made the call that while we are going to push on direct to Lymington, we were in danger of running straight into a big gale in the Bay of Biscay. The prudent decision was taken to slow the boat down and we are running under working jib only, in 25-30 knots on the quarter. That equals 5-6 knots instead of 9-10 as we run up to Finisterre. We have also practised hoving-to and used that technique to ease Zephyr's motion while Tim cooked up and served a barnstorming Tikka Masala with a robust Portugese red...

The aim will be 'open up the throttle' once past Finisterre and the worst of the low has moved through Biscay, ideally picking up a rollicking sail on the back of it. Having said that, Force 7 in Biscay is not to be trifled with but the collective mood is that Zephyr and the crew are up for it.

Blighty bound !

14 May 2021 | 38 51'N:9 32'W, Offshore Lisbon
RS
We are off on the next leg. We left Cascais after an early start - the cry from Captain Dicky of "wakey wakey hands off snakey!" had us all up making breakfast and busying around preparing for departure ...

While dodging the multitude of lobster pots we were visited by a playful pod of dolphins, as per the photo.

Light airs on the schnoz at the moment, we are aiming and hoping for a straight shot back to Blighty, although realistically probably 50:50 whether the weather or events will permit it.

Ready for the off...

13 May 2021
DS
Planning to leave Cascais early Friday. Lights winds likely up the Portuguese coast, with strong westerlies forecast as we approach Finisterre on Saturday late.

A well deserved frosty one

12 May 2021 | 38 41.417'N:9 25.116'W, Cascais
DS
All problems fixed and waiting a weather window... Looks like a Friday departure to at least north Spain, if not all the way to UK...

Spares and repairs

12 May 2021 | 38 41.417'N:9 25.116'W, Cascais
DS
Safely tied up in Cascias and working on fixing the pilot etc...

Change of plan – a little stop in Cascais

10 May 2021 | 36 33'N:12 27'W, 200 miles SW of Cascais
RS
An eventful morning... the genset, Iridium and the navigator's chair were all giving issues but the decision to go to Cascais was that the autopilot gears failed. So heading to the calm wates of Cascais where we can replace the pilot motor with the spare on Zephyr.

Weather too has been a little lively and unsettled... Generally WNW at 20 knots, the odd reinforced squall has blown through with the last one at a steady 49 knots, peaking at 62. Ricky handled with aplomb whilst the rest of the crew hunkered(?) below.

More on plans as soon as we arrive Cascais.

Le Patron mange ici

09 May 2021 | 33 23.96'N:13 33.54'W, 300 miles west of Casablanca
DS
Photo of le Patron in the halcyon days of yesterday, resting on his laurels after a very good lunch prepared by himself.

Rest of the crew have settled in well although sleep has been a bit challenging given how bouncy it's been as we've beating or reaching on a port tack. We're now heading north where we want to go which is looking to stay west of the Portuguese coast to build some sea room. Forecast is good for next couple of days. By mid-week though looks like there might be a developing low just off Cape Finisterre and that we're keeping a close eye on.

Great sailing now after a restless night with a couple of squalls and a close encounter with a large tanker in the middle of the night... All else good and, except for 1 fridge, all systems working well.
Vessel Name: Zephyr
Vessel Make/Model: Shipman 50
Hailing Port: Lymington
Home Page: www.yachtzephyr.com
Zephyr's Photos - Main
the boat
6 Photos
Created 22 August 2014