Position 36:29.30N 075:05.57W
Date 2359 - 18 May 2011 (UTC -3)
Well, crossing the Gulf Stream was
quite an experience. We had consistently higher winds than the 20 knots forecast,
mainly 25-30 knots true with gusts up to 40 knots and largish beam on seas.
Add to that a deal of water regularly coming over the top and you might start
to get the picture. With this combination we were making 9 – 10 knots on
a beam reach through the water but even though we were supposedly crossing at
right angles there was a 3 knot adverse current giving us progress of 6 knots
over the ground. It does not require too much of a vivid imagination to
picture what the crossing would be like in strong winds against this current.
Thank heavens for a weather window.
The crossing took 12 hours and just as rapidly as the Stream conditions
had appeared they disappeared; the seas dropped as did the wind and current and
we found ourselves in sunshine pottering along at a gentle 5 knots. Life
returned to normal, or what passes for normal on passage. The Mate having
realised that survival had occurred celebrated by producing hot sausage and
We had become separated from Alice
overnight and as the VHF would not communicate a satellite phone call revealed
them to be some 16 miles astern so we pottered along during the afternoon in
order that they could catch up. By midnight we were back on station at 2nm.
Following a good curry supper I settled down for a sleep. The Mate
meanwhile adopted a feathered friend which took refuge in the cockpit after a
number of exploratory fly bys.
Whilst the Skipper is not completely heartless in these matters having
to move a bird to either turn the engine on or read the compass was deemed a little
inconvenient and said feathered friend was persuaded to nest on a ledge above
the companionway. It must be happy as it has its head firmly tucked under its
wing and unlike some on board does not snore.