Tues 29th June We slept
for hours on Tuesday morning. Sylvie and I woke up 0930 after a really
good sleep to discover the boat deserted. Ben had disappeared (we
presumed, for a run) and no other sound. Just as we were leaving to go ashore
for a shower, I decided to check the aft cabin to find Jim still asleep!
Anyway, we all needed a good sleep after our first night on the shake-down
channel crossing trip, so by the time we'd had a late breakfast we all felt
ready to face the 2nd leg across Biscay. Ben had re-appeared earlier, and hadn't
been running (that was done the previous evening), but had taken both
lap-tops ashore to a cafe and was trying to match my blackberry to laptop so,
when in port, we could send these messages via b/berry or wi-fi -
as well as the Iridium sat phone
We slipped moorings at 1630 and motored out to
sea with a light westerly headwind, so kept the donkey going for some time. With
a depression heading towards the northern part of the British Isles, we were
hoping that the long-lasting N'ly winds in Biscay would hold out and remain
unaffected by the weather pattern. A ridge of high pressure seemed to be
stretching into Biscay, but the forecast was for SW'lys - right on the
nose! The first night there was no wind at all! So we motored
all night - and Biscay was flat calm.
Wednesday 30th June
Sylvie's Birthday! When Sylvie surfaced, she
opened some presents and her cards and we sang her 'happy birthday'.
The wind picked up (well, a breeze at least) in the morning, so we started
to sail very gently and over the course of the day we averaged 3.16
knots! A bit sad! Anyway it gave us a chance to play with the
Hydrovane (self steering) and have a lazy day in glorious sunshine.
Unfortunately the wind started to shift to SW'ly direction, right on the nose -
and there it has stayed ever since!
Ben and I broke out the new staysail and
tried it out. It didn't help really, but it was good to make sure it was
all in order and the sheets were long enough. After a late lunch we had some tea
and a birthday cake appeared with candles on - Sylvie was amazed! Barbara
Mullane had smuggled it on board so I could hide it in a locker on
Thursday 1st July It was a
lumpy night and still that SW'ly head wind. We tacked out to the
west, some 15 miles outside our course and then back during the day. The
GPS showed less than 200 miles to go (that's if we were going in a
straight line!) Finally, at noon, we crossed the central crease in our
Biscay chart - which now shows Spain ahead rather than France
behind. And the sun has come out again - as Jim always tells
me ; "Sunshine is worth 2 points on the Beaufort scale" The
forecast (which has so far proved depressingly correct with regard to
the wind direction) is forecast to go round to the west in southern Biscay - but
no sign of it doing so just yet, so we are keeping our fingers crossed. We
are thumping along at about 6 knots, although slightly in the wrong
direction - but if wind shifts a couple of points this afternoon, we
could make it in late tomorrow (Friday) night.
Best wishes to all Paul, Sylvie, Ben and