Day 11: Wind, 1st Squall and Rainbows

Wed 3 Dec 2008 13:20
We are now through the '1700' to go milestone and in the rain! What a change in conditions. The wind was around 15 kts all night and we averaged over 6.5 kts making up some lost time. Carried the spinnaker all night. It was an amazing sensation going like a train (relative to what we have mainly experienced) in the dark in shorts and a T shirt - one doesn't do that in UK!
This morning the wind started to get up and with the dawn I could see potentially squally clouds coming at us from ESE (see pic). So we did our pre breakfast routine of sail changing (spinnaker down, jib out). Just as well as the cloud soon thickened and we felt our first gust and the rain came in (see next pic). The wind has now (miday) settled down again so we have the spinnaker up and are tracking reasonably well in the drizzle.
The forecast is for variable weather with squalls and rain. "It is likely to be similar to sailing in the doldrums with light wind and strong squalls"(CT) so It could get humid and boring/exciting.
 Wednesday was supposed to mark our half way point. But, given we have dog-legged the route to get the best we can of the weather, our total distance is around 2900 miles, so with luck halfway will have to wait for a couple of days. 
Jock had his piece yesterday and Mike wants to say Hi. to Pat, Emma, Edward and all at Sutton Harbour Group.
A lovely dawn behind us, but squally weather coming at us              Same view, 45 mins or so later! Just as well we were prepared
PS Jock heard about Mike's message to family and friends, so wants say Hi to Sue, Angus, Calum and Douglas!
Which means I want to say Hi to My Family (too many to list!) and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all..............and our fans at Ernst & Young!