Atlantic crossing day 6 - European landfall
36: 59.9N 9:13.2W Wednesday 24th June @1200 GMT
We eventually got some sailable wind on Monday evening and, expecting it to last the night, put up the complicated downwind arrangement of two headsails held out by pole & boom. By 11pm the winds died again and I had to put the bloody lot away again – not much fun in the dark! Tuesday was better; sails up at 7am and winds that lasted all last night, although they shifted so I had to put the gennaker away in the dark again. Still, nothing to complain about because we had 24 hrs of delicious sailing in flat seas and a nice easy sail configuration that minimises the roll. The night was soooo peaceful without the engine! We’ve only just had to switch it on again 30 miles off Cape St Vincent, both because the winds went light again and we have to cross the huge traffic separation scheme that keeps north bound and south bound ships out of each others way as they round the cape. It’s over 20 miles wide and we seem to be crossing it forever.
So here we are, back in European waters again. We will cross our outbound track today, which is the moment that marks a “circumnavigation”. In our case it is just the north Atlantic, but I guess that is an achievement of sorts. I asked Lindsay how she felt and she said “crowded”. I can see her point, we haven’t seen this much shipping around us for a long time. We even had a close call with a French sailing boat yesterday evening – we’d seen it somewhere in the Azores and our paths were getting very close so we had a little chat on the radio. So, yes, it does seem crowded already.
All being well we’ll be arriving in Ayamonte marina tomorrow morning. Back in civilisation – I mean the internet sort, so we can get on with planning our next adventures. We have to get the boat sorted quickly; there is lots of cleaning and some repairs to do before we can leave her for our month back in the UK & France.