We are going well here. The low pressure after the Azores, packed a punch and we had a consistent 30-40 knots for 24 hours. Top wind speed was 46 knots. The sea´s got to about 4m and there was a huge amount of rain. Fairly miserable but nothing too uncomfortable, Rainbow looked after us well, and enjoys those conditions downwind.
We were very cautious and motor sailed for this time, with just the staysail. Ideally we would have had the tri-sail up as well, but the wind came in very quickly (from 8 knots to 30 knots in 5 minutes) at 3am, that it was too dangerous and problematic to point into the wind to raise the sail, so we happily sailed with the wind, deep downwind being pushed along with engine.
Once the wind had gone yesterday morning there was still a large swell, and we tried sailing, but it was hard to keep the boat going in the swell, so we conceded, and motor sailed for the day.
Last night was a perfectly clear sky, and a huge number of stars, quite magical with no light pollution out here. This morning dawned with a nice southerly wind of 12 knots, so we have raised all the sails and are having a great sail eastwards. This may be short lived as the wind is due to die off later today, but perfect conditions now, and this could be the last decent sail of the trip, so we are enjoying it thoroughly. The boat really revels in these conditions and wind direction, perfectly balanced and effortless miles.
We are now 365 miles from the Straits of Gibraltar, so should be transiting on early hours of Sunday morning. Then the last 550 mile dash to Mallorca, which for the first half should see strong winds from the West, hopefully the conditions for the last 200 miles, turn in our favour as well, for an arrival Tuesday afternoon, if all things line up.
Back to civilization, and one which we probably won´t recognize as we have been very hidden from the lock down etc. It will take some adjusting to, but as we will have been in isolation on board for 17 days, hopefully all will take it in their stride.
That´s all for now.
Mat and crew