Noon-noon run: 151 milesy
It's been a testing 24 hrs. The wind filled
in from SE at around 1300, enabling us to set our desired course of 075M.
However, as foretold by the GRIB files, it then backed to ESE. Decision
time: do we head c. 045M, the 'paying' tack but into unco-operative winds, or
tack and head SE, almost 90 degree from our desired course. The latter won
the argument, and so for about 8 hours we were hard on the wind on port tack
with 2 reefs in the main and the staysail set (the ESE 5 giving us quite a wild
ride), making about 155M heading to Spain! Why? The aim was to make
ground to the SE, where a front promised a southerly wind on the other side of
When the skipper came on watch at 2300, he was
sorely tempted to give it up as a wild goose chase, as we were making no ground
whatsoever towards our goal. But Ian concurred the original logic and
persuaded him to stick with it. Glad we did; at 0045 it all went very
light. Then a very large shift took the wind right round to South, and we
were off on a beam reach at 7kts. Eureka!
So far it's holding, giving good sailing albeit in
1/4 mile visibility - the radar is coming into its own, giving us peace of mind
that we are not going to suddenly meet a big ship!
Provided we do not inadvertently sail throught the
front again (we reckon it is only some 10 miles to port of us), the wind should
hold fair. But to make sure, we are currently heading 100M, some 25 deg
off our straight line course. The past 24hrs noon-noon run is a welcome
improvement on the previous day's, but not all of it has been in the direction
Overnight we had some visitors:
We think they are the remains of jelly fish washed
up on deck while we were hard on port tack; but they may be the remains of
aliens (for our US readers, in the Queen's English an alien is an
extra terrestial, not a foreigner!).
Otherwise it's been pretty quiet. We had a
ship pass some 5 miles down the port beam, but he either was not listening on CH
16, or feared to reply in case we had some impossible demand. We have
enjoyed our tins of Swedish pea soup, courtesy of Ingergard and Hibber - thank
you very much! Sarah pulled the culery draw out too far:
Note the fancy socks that go with the fancy
With less than 500 miles to go to Falmouth and the
GRIB files indicating 5 days of favourable winds, England is beginning to
loom in our thoughts. Too soon to say when we will arrive, but the skipper
is musing that the early hours of Tuesday morning may be not too far off the
mark. We shall see.