Day 4 - North Atlantic : Bermuda-East Coast
Another starry night spent identifying planets, constellations (with the help of Di’s iPad app!) and the spectacular Milky Way - in a gentle 10 knot wind – becoming more SW as the night progressed. As our heading became more southerly we tacked at 02:30 to a north-westerly heading – direct for Chesapeake, but south of the storm. As predicted the winds strengthened during the day to 20 knots – two reefs on the Genoa kept us at a good speed 7-8 knots without too much heal. Vessel “Ad Abdali” bound for Algeciras approached on a port bow – predicted closest point was too close for comfort – so after an exchange of intentions they changed course to pass astern – as the rules of the sea dictated – giving way to sail!! (Although we were ready to take evasive action as size and maneuverability can over-rule as well)! A small “twister” was spotted (Piko’s point score for interesting sightings), some 10+miles away, forming in the clouds but not touching the sea. Loss of boat speed and depth instrumentation was quickly rectified by re-setting (the traditional way of switching on and off)! The rest of the day has passed uneventful, after a hearty omelete breakfast we sailed on with just the Genoa – not risking the main leach tearing anymore - but still making good progress, passing our half way point sometime during the morning. Ship’s time was re-set to GMT-4hrs (gaining an hour) as we progressed west. Sextant sun sightings and a noon day run of a low 102nm (we had slowed up to miss the peak of the developing storm ahead) kept us occupied. Looking at the wind predictions (GRIB files) – we expect strong winds and heavy seas for the next 24hrs – but, if as planned, missing the centre of the storm – the approaching night will reveal if our course and speed has kept us clear! Phil, Di and Piko.