Th.e parting of the waves

Paul Huntley
Thu 18 Jun 2009 06:53
Good morning to you all.
It is my  morning warch again from 04:00 to 06:00 hrs , since the last blog I am pleased to report, the weather has improved,what a difference a day makes! to explain the subject heading for today, I have studied the Navtex met reports and pulled a synoptic chart from the weather fax. It would appear the an intense low pressure 998 mb centered to the south east of Iceland creating gale force winds as far south as Fastnet and Lundy sea areas just to the north of us and another low 1010mb centered in south Biscay again creating high winds up to gale 8.The front to the north is clearly visible ,We are in sea area Sole with the barometer rising slowly at 1019mb forming a new high that should develop and move east by north east over the weekend. We are in a storm sandwich of little or no wind,8/10knts at best and running the engine.Our high is destined to dominate the south for the next few days pushing the respective lows away.The mackeral sky and mares tails show that these high winds are not far away, so we are making best speed to Falmouth.
We did manage to sit at the saloon table and have dinner all together which made a pleasant change for the past few days it has been dog bowles wherever you can wedge yourself in and eat. Yes in bad weather we have a dog bowl each the dinner will not stay on a normal plate.Last night it was my turn to be the galley slave and we had Tuna and potato fish cakes with sweet corn and garden peas followed by freshly baked jam sponge pudding and custard. no sign of food poisoning yet! they are all asleep I hope?
Just been on deck to check for traffic and the sona depth sound ,having been silent since Horta , is reading 566ft.We have just come across the continental shelf,the chart indicates the depth just three miles to the west at more that 4000 meters, quite a change,that must be a significant sub sea cliff.
We had contact with the survey /research vessel th Jamse Cook last night, they were conducting some OBS ocean bottom survey towing a streamer up to five miles astern.
The radio traffic is now significant having been silent for so long.The number of ships passing in  both directions is also increasing as we near the western approaches and the seperation zones between the Scilly Isles and LandsEnd and the Il d Ouessant or Ushant taking the traffic bound north and south.
There is a big bank of dark cloud to the east which  is the front,I suspect it may produce wind and rain for the rest of the day, The sun rise has been spectacular and worth having the early morning watch.Falmouth Coast Guard  have just come up on VHF it is reasuring to hear those guardians of the sea once again.
I must away and get fix some breakfast whilst it is still reasonably calm.
Best wishes to you all from us all on  Libertad .