What’s the best route?

Wed 26 May 2021 14:15
We get daily position reports for all the boats and plotting positions is fascinating. It must look bizarre on the YB Tracker.

Some boats are using routing software to work out the fastest route making best use of the wind. We are effectively through a guy called Chris Tibbs who is a weather guru and sends us daily weather reports and advice. He has played the cards well so far though the very Northerly boats are going to make up some ground now. Hopefully not too much.

Deciding the best route is tricky. There are no trade winds mid N Atlantic and multiple low pressure systems, movement of which is hard to predict a week ahead. The wind is circling around the Highs and Lows creating multiple routing opportunities - or challenges if you get it wrong. Like a game of chess it will all play out move by move.

We are really pleased for Cloudy Bay. Kristian, a Norwegian, is sailing on his own and is doing very well with quite different tactics to ourselves. His Jeanneau 440 is slightly smaller than Nina and Jeanneau make boats that are very well appointed but sail like sea slugs. Basically a caravan with a stubby mast. Apologies to any proud Jeanneau owners. So Kristian is doing seriously well to be ahead of the big Bavaria and Beneteaus. He set off Northwards from Bermuda and has stuck to his plan.

The wind changes come remarkably quickly. Yesterday evening we were strolling along in a light SWly with the cruising chute up. Lovely big blue and white sail like a Spinnaker. Spotted the long awaited front coming through so put this Kite away as quickly as possible. 5 minutes after we stowed the big sail away, we were hit with 25 knots from the NE. As forecast but an amazingly rapid change.

After battling hard on the wind overnight to stop ourselves drifting back West, we are now able to ease to sheets and go for speed. Nina a little flatter and flying. What’s not to like.

Otherwise all well. Ross decided Matt getting bored so broke the pump on the heads. Now that really is a nasty job!

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