11 May - Passage from the Azores to Gosport, Day 5

Escapade of Rame
Richard & Julie Farrington
Sat 11 May 2019 12:02
44:36N 17:14W
We continue to make good progress towards the South West Approaches, covering over 175nm in the last 24 hours.  We now have around 530nm to run to the Ushant Traffic Separation Scheme.
It’s been a game of two halves: we motored for the first 12 hours in light airs, until the wind returned from the south at around midnight.  Since then, we’ve been flying along at over 7.5 knots and are now well reefed down in a fresh south easterly with a moderate sea state.  It should stay roughly like this for the next 24 hours, but the forecast for Monday night into Tuesday suggests we may have to throttle back whilst stronger winds pass over us.  We are opening out to the east of the rhumb line, so that when those winds back into the east, we don’t end up being pushed to the west of Ireland!
A stowaway joined at sunset yesterday: Percy the Pigeon pretty nearly ‘karked it’ on his first approach to the pushpit and took a short swim.  Amazingly he recovered and has tried a number of perches through the night – mostly on ropes that we need to use from time to time.  Right now, he has taken shelter down aft and looks fairly settled, albeit uninterested in Jacobs Crackers or water.  Dave is convinced his name is Polly, but until eggs are produced, we’ll stick with ‘Percy’.
Saturday Night at Sea tonight: we’ll have some steaks, but may delay the movie until the sea state improves.
We are now on a chart that shows Plymouth and our present position on the same piece of paper, which is always nice: and I’ve broken out the Shell Channel Pilot and the English Channel Tidal Stream Atlas – old friends last used on 18 May 2017!
Morale remains high and we have no defects.
Richard, Peter and Dave