Overtaken by fleet of 25 yachts 36:32N 40:49W

Kantara Atlantic Odyssey
Andy Hemens
Sun 27 May 2012 12:35
Strange encounter yesterday when a cargo ship, the Thor Boreas, laden with 25+ yachts and bound for Southampton passed within half a mile of us. These are the first yachts we have seen since Barbuda but should start to see more as we converge on teh Azores.
Yesterday slowly improved after the miserable start and we again made good progress under white sails and thankfully it dried up mid morning. The night was extremely cold and I will be upgrading to winter sleeping bag ad more layers tonight. Good start today with large bowl of porridge and Malcolm and I were then entertained by a school of 20+ dolphins. Making steady progress to Horta ding 6knots vmg in a light NW wind and moderate sea state.
It might surprise you to know that the weather here has quite an impact on teh UK and may be playing a part in the barmy BBQ weather you are experiencing. When the Azores high is stable and expands north, this gives rise to warm stable conditions in UK. However, when it fails to develop or stays south the UK summers are badly impacted, like last year.
Whilst I am being a geek, the Grib File Viewer and Passage Planning software I bought from Ballgate systems for £10 has been excellent. It allows us to input various waypoints on our route, our anticipated speed and then overlay those on the five days Grib forecast. Each day we simply update our position and download new Grib files. Great tool and would have been invaluable on outward leg.