BVIs to the Azores - Day Sixteen 35 10.843N 038 33.508W

Mike and Liz Downing
Thu 12 Jun 2014 21:24
The big news is that as I write we have just passed the '500 miles to go' mark! However, it's been slow going again making 3 to 5kts most of the night and morning, and our noon-to-noon run was only 103 miles. The wind came up just before midday today and we had a 25 - 30kt blast. It's still up around the 20kts mark, but it's due to drop down again tomorrow morning and then it looks light for the next few days (as far as our forecast goes). So this last 500 miles is going to take quite a while to complete. It's frustrating as there's a much stronger SW air stream to the east going in the right direction, but it's moving east and we can't go east fast enough to catch up with it! So the question is, do we go more east and try to catch it, more north or between the two and just head straight for the Azores? Looking at the forecasts, the intuitive decision is to head more east and try to get into the SW wind flow. However, via Podcasts downloaded in the BVIs, we've become fans of the Infinite Monkey Cage - for those that don't know, it's a BBC radio programme on science hosted by Professor Brian Cox and is both serious and light-hearted in equal measures. Brian is always advocating fact/evidence based decision making, so I decided to write down and compare forecasts over the next 4 days at 6 hourly intervals, giving wind speeds and direction, for the 3 different routing options (go north, east or direct) and of the 16 observations, go direct wins or is no worse on 14. So go direct it is! (But it will probably all change tomorrow!)

It's now raining and with the stronger winds the sea is up and short and sharp, so we're being bounced around a bit. The big question is will the scupper repair hold with all the rain and sea water that's now washing over the deck?! We filled the holes from the other fitting mentioned yesterday with swimmers ear plugs - a form of wax that can be moulded into shape, but easily removed. Hopefully they will keep the water at bay until we can make a proper repair. We shall see!

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