Norfolk Day 4 - The lull after the storm and the Mate is making nesting noises

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 onion rolls.

 

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.