Day 3: Fast Sailing
3rd June 2011
Just as we posted yesterdays blog, the wind increased to 18 – 20kts . For the last 24 hours we’ve had the rare treat of wind on the beam or just aft of the beam, the sun’s out and we’ve been pointing the boat in the direction we actually want to go!! That doesn’t happen to us often. J
To start with we had a helpful 1.5 kts current with us, so on top of our boat speed of 7.5 – 8.0 kts our SOG was a lovely 8.5 – 9.0kts. That was clearly too good to last and for most of the day we’ve had 2.0 – 2.5kts of current against which has dragged our SOG down to 5.3 kts.
The wind increased to over 25kts in the night, so we took it easy with two reefs in the main and staysail. We’ve been sailing with full sail all day, but have just put a reef in as the wind has built to 22kts.
Sir Humphrey the Hydrovane is once again working brilliantly and doing all the steering. He’s effectively our wind powered autopilot and steers the boat according to the wind direction. There’s no way we could do this trip without him with just the two of us, so he really is our 3rd crew member.
The GRIB files (weather forecast) shows that the wind should stay the same for the next 3 to 4 days. If only we could lose this pesky current we would start making some really good progress. I suspect the current is also causing the chop and we have been pooped a few times from the quarter making it quite wet on deck!
Anyone bored at work or with wifi who fancies looking up what the current is doing would be much appreciated. We found good information on the gulf stream from www.passageweather.com but only downloaded it for our anticipated trip to Halifax so we are now too far east to tell. We suspect we are crossing one of Gulf Streams many back eddies.
Nothing at all to report on the wildlife front in the last 24hours other than the odd bird and no ships. Not a thing! Perhaps they know something we don’t. But we have finally escaped from Bermuda Radio.
Time for tea and buns and to listen to Herb.....
Position at 1930h UTC
Wind: 195˚T / 22kts
COG / SOG: 070˚T / 5.2 kts (but 7.5 through the water) L
1430nm to Horta
365nm NE of Bermuda