BVIs to the Azores - Day Eight 27 41.950N 054 56.196W

Mike and Liz Downing
Thu 5 Jun 2014 21:45
The light conditions returned yesterday afternoon and the seas went down, so much more comfortable. We were still close hauled, and have been the whole passage so far, and able to keep up around 5kts. The wind then came up again in the evening and the speed leapt up to 7.5 to 8kts. At that speed, close hauled and in the dark, it feels like you're doing 100 mph and we wouldn't normally do those speeds at night, but the moon was out (hadn't seen it for several nights with all the cloud) and it seemed like a good opportunity to catch up some time. Progressively reefing, by 23.00 there was just a handkerchief of headsail out with reefed main and the speeds were still up between 7 and 8, but the moon had had enough for one night and disappeared over the horizon and the headsail was replaced with the staysail. The speed dropped to a more comfortable 6kts. Motion-wise, in a slight sea, it was comfortable enough down below, but tearing along into total darkness is not comfortable on the nerves! 6kts is so much better. Today it's a return to the weather that we had at the start - light winds, slight sea, blue skies and sunny, and we're back to making around 4 to 5kts - we're not going to break any records on this passage!. Our noon-to-noon run was 131 miles. The barometer has shot up showing that we're heading more into the Azores High, hence the light conditions. The High is forecast to come south, so we need to skirt it's western edge and the juggling act is not to get too close and lose the wind completely or go too far off the wind and lose speed. So we need to edge our way north, but not too far north as the forecast is suggesting very heavy weather there. It's a bit like a chess game!

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