small world sailing

Day 21 »« Day 19

Day 20

N39.22.19 W042.30.77
Wind <5kts Heading 090T
Winds did moderate a bit last night. F6 gusting F7. More importantly, the sea calmed a little and without the fear that a big swell should roll the boat I attempted to make a bearing on my desired heading.
Letting out a tiny bit of foresail not bigger than a beach towel helped with direction and speed and with a fair bit of weather helm (forcing the rudder against the natural flow of the boat) applied to the wheel to help the Hydrovane out, we made way at 5-6kts and on a bit of a wobbly but correct course across the swell.
Occasionally the larger waves would run us to far round into the wind, or a heavy gust would do the same, but on the whole it was managable.
Later still we got back to SW F4, turns out there was a bit of a troff passing that bought some squalls, so says Herb……no-shit!
Listening to Herb last night was encouraging though, I’ve not been able to pick him up over the last couple of days. I’ve been trying to head NNE throughout, Kevin has been urging me to get north but it’s not always been easy as you know, but we’ve got there now. Anyway, Herb recomends a Latitude N39 – N40 over the next 4 days to get any kind of SW wind over the top of the Azores High (thats a fairly static high pressure system that sits west of the Azores (simplisticly put)), well super news, my current Latitue is N39 and whats more, he’s reported a cold eddy current pressing eastbound too! That explains my 8kts the night before last.
It’s amazing how many boats are close to me but on a lower Latitude, they will be struggling now, or they’ll have to head due north of they’re position. It’s quite interesting listening to all the traffic, the transmition lasts almost 2hrs and has up to 50 boats all over the Atlantic checking in. I don’t check in, just take my weather from Net/ email/ Kevin (who’s become like my base camp) and also from Herbs forecasts from boats around me, so it becomes comforting to know that I’m not alone.
By dawn, well, just before dawn, the wind died to less than 10kts…….again! at 0700 I could take it no longer, the mainsail was fitting like an epeleptic and the noise was unbearable, particularly as I’d been trying to sleep. A plan hatched in my mind’, what about the Spinika? Of course, as you all know, I no longer have the pole and further more, I have no lines for it either, but sleep deprevation can force the mind to come up with the most interesting alternatives. And I did, and it was fabulas, a couple of crew safety strops shackled to the toe rail and the kite was flying as good as any kite flying I’ve ever done, better in fact, pleased as punch was I. It sat there unattended for hours and pulled us along at a sedate 3kts but then by that time there was only 6kts of breeze so I was happy with that.
After lunch the Spinika hung near limp over the front of the boat, we were making less than 2kts progress and I think most of that was tide. What ever Herb had seen in the forecast was not happening to me. No wind. But at least the sails weren’t banging and the roll of the boat was being taken care of by the Spinika so some how, this time, it didn’t seem to matter. Besides, it was sunny and I just had some shorts on for the first time in ages, had a hot shower from my solar shower too so it’s been an ok day.
Just now I’m motoring for some power to the batteries and some much needed milage, yesturday only logged 116nm and today will be much worse unless the SW wind comeback in soon. I a day or so I should have NE which will push me back down to the Azores so it all could still work out nicely but at the mo’ we’re just bobin. I may try the Spinika again later, for this evening, if I can make a few miles over night that would be a bonus, we’ll see what the winds doing by then.
May 30, 2008 at 18:45
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