Ascension Northwards - Day Three 06 30.984S 019 56.891W

Mike and Liz Downing
Wed 16 Apr 2014 19:47
Better! In fact much better. The wind has come up - not a lot but enough to get us going at a fairly steady 6kts. The sea is up a bit, but more settled than yesterday and something I didn't mention yesterday, a counter current of up to 1kt, has gone and we have a little current with us. Yesterday I was beginning to doubt our instruments as there's suppose to a very reliable favourable current here, yet we had a counter current. It's a bit like the passage from Mauritius where we were supposed to have a favourable current yet had a counter current. I suspect there are local eddies that get generated and if in the wrong place it's against you rather than with you. Whatever the reason, we're very happy that it appears to have gone. When you have light winds a counter current is doubly demoralizing!

Another factor that has helped today is that we have changed direction - from 282 to 296. Not a huge change, but enough to move the wind from the port side to the starboard side. That fits with the sail change we did the other day - puts the wind on the side we like it! That has contributed to the improvements today. It means that today we've decided to miss FdN and head direct for the Caribbean. So rather than the 860 miles to go that I reported yesterday, we now have 2,700! We can change our minds again if conditions change and the decision will only sort of be final once we're passed FdN. On this course we should pass around 190 miles to the north east of it. A factor helping to make the decision was the slow progress we were making. Our plans are based on our average passage times and if we don't keep up we'll have problems later.

A couple of the boats 300-500 miles ahead have been having a lot of rain and squalls, with sudden wind increases up to 30kts. We hope by heading more north, which the new heading gives us, we might miss some of these. We hope so!

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