Day 7: Nearly There
14th May 2011
After another very bumpy night we survived Friday 13th in the Bermuda Triangle! However we have noticed a few strange or abnormal things:
(1) Alan has read a whole book (The girl with a Dragon Tattoo) since we left the Caribbean. He can’t usually sit still long enough to read a book in anything less than 4 years
(2) We’ve experienced the strange sensation of being cold and have both been wearing our waterproof trousers at night
(3) We’ve managed to sail for 4 days without using the engine!
We have slowed down a bit as we try to point closer to Bermuda but with the wind now dead on the nose we are currently only making 30 – 40 degrees magnetic versus the required track to the Bermuda Fairway buoy of now 348 degrees. We are only 74 miles away but until the wind dies which it is forecast to do tonight we will not be able to motor into the still large waves to windward so it could be a long final beat.
As we approach I have been reading the pilot books for Bermuda and Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Routes. Typically he says we should get “easterlies or calms at this time of year with the risk of a northerly being minimal!” I think we should ignore all of the guides as we have not really had seasonal weather anywhere this year! As well as the true saying that ‘the wind is always too little, too much or on the nose’ someone else also told us ‘normal weather is what you don’t have’. Still at least we haven’t used all of our diesel and it has been very sunny!
The Hydrovane has been brilliant and the new batteries have hardly needed charging at all thanks to the wind generator.
Our planned ETA is therefore now sometime tomorrow subject to when we can head into the wind. Quite a few other ARC boats are already there and a few more are on the way so we are really looking forward to getting there and being able to live on a stable boat which is not constantly at 20˚ of heel and moving around like a bucking bronco.
Alan also has a university friend who lives in Bermuda who he hasn’t seen since 1998 (which is when he flew into Bermuda to sail back to the Azores) and Mary has never met, so there is excitement all around!
Just as we were about to upload this to the website, the wind died, so at 1800h the engine went on and we are now motoring north. We have 66 miles to go, but it’s dead into the wind so progress is still slow. We hope to arrive some time tomorrow morning (Sunday 15th May).