Morgan's Bluff to Charleston Day 3 - Rush to hang around

Position           31:59.69N 079:49.07W

Date                2359 Thursday 19 April 2012

 

This has been a very mixed sailing day with the wind coming from every direction at some time.  The early hours saw a bank of thunderstorms and rain squalls which appeared to lurk 10nm ahead for a number of hours. Eventually we caught them up and passed through a decidedly wet but not too windy bit into clear weather but variable winds beyond.  That is what the GRIB files said would happen and they were correct.

 

The pole so laboriously set was shipped as the wind went round to the south west.  The effect of the Gulf Stream slackened off dramatically between 1300 and 1400 with a 3 knot current disappearing to a mere trickle of 0.7kts. Since starting to pick it up as we left the Great Bahama Bank just before midnight on Tuesday we have covered 300nm over the ground but only 205 through the water.  We have been fortunate that the wind has for the most part been with the current; this would not have been possible with a wind against current situation.  Children should not try this experiment at home!

 

The other fun for part of the day was trying to slow the boat down so that we delay our arrival at Charleston until after dawn on Friday.   Murphy’s law of course applies, you reduce sail and idle along, then the wind drops so you idle with a vengeance and then when the wind gets up it goes round onto the nose so that you require to motor into it.  You can understand why the ancients used to think that the Gods had a sense of humour, or is it malice

 

On more prosaic matters and specifically for those members of the family that were eying up the remains of the Christmas cake that we declined to give away– I ate the final chunk bit last night.  It had survived very well – who said that alcohol shortened life?

 

This afternoon the deck started to resemble a bird table with the arrival of a barn swallow and then some form of similar sized yellow and brown job.  The yellow bird found a shrimp like thing on the deck and proceeded to have fun with that.  The swallow just showed off by flying around the deck and cockpit.  I am not sure where the yellow bird went at dusk, difficult thing to herd, birds.  The swallow was definitely looking for somewhere to roost and having decide that squeezing in between a cushion and Elizabeth’s left hip was perhaps not too secure it took itself off into the space under the helmsman’s seat; it certainly was not phased by us humans.  Let us hope that it stays put and survives the night.  If both hang in there we should have land in sight for them shortly after dawn.