Dandelion Blog

Rick, Helen, Sue, John
Sat 25 Jun 2011 08:44
Hello from 40:08.0N, 26:53.9W (24th June).
(Incidentally, do please send emails if you want – just don’t use the reply button.  Send a new mail.)
You know, sometimes one wonders why one is doing what one is doing.  Doesn’t one?  I mean take our present case.  A week ago we were peacefully berthed in a pretty little marina, attached to an entirely delightful island with equable climate, nice residents (who didn’t go round nicking laptops), super views and scenery.  Now we seem to be a very grey bit of the Western Approaches being duffed-up somewhat by a SSW 7.  All parts of the ship are damp (plus all parts of me are damp).  And we are rolling like a fairground attraction where people come out and throw up their candy floss.   Right now we’re crossing the edge of the ‘Shelf’ where depths go from 12,000 feet to less than 500 in 50 miles.  What happens here is that a wave, say, having crossed the Atlantic in good order, suddenly finds it’s getting squeezed from underneath  and, with nowhere else to go, heaps up into a steep sided, bad mouthed, ugly lump of green water.  So if we then apply the already touched-on SSW 7 you will understand that not every aspect pleases. (Especially when one reflects back on that nice little island we’re sailing hard away from.)  Overnight, as the wind began to get serious and take names, we changed down from single reefed main, stays’l and full genoa to, in quick stages, deep-reefed main and half a stays’l.  And still charging along at 8 knots. And thats what we’ve got up now – I’ve cracked open the stays’l a tad.  Visibility has also been on the poor side so we’ve had the radar turning for the first time.  To be truthful I’m not completely sure it works as we’ve not yet tracked any targets (and the thing looks like something taken from a Lancaster) but there’s an impressive green trace going round and round the screen.)  More whales yesterday – a family of 6 – 8, I think – that went trolling by about 50 yards from the boat, spouting mightily and heading south.  Very sensible are whales.  Probably going to drop in on Terceira.
We expect to be off the Scillies by Saturday night and so its looking like a Monday arrival in the Tamar.  But we’re surrounded by lows out here so lets just see how we get on.   
Love from a damp crew.
  1. a
more soon, love the crew
ps  – Rob sue’s lost Terry’s email address so please can you send it to us here.