Position 50:01.137N 003:57.330W
The winds came indeed By the time we dropped one of the gennoa's, we also furled in the remaining one a bit and put the first reef in the mainsail. 2 hrs. later we put in the second reef and some time later we dropped the main all the way. So no now we were sailing with only half a gennoa and still doing 8.5 kts average.
The wind had picked up to 35 kts and the waves grew bigger and bigger. The boat steered very well but it's a bit more tiring steering. We decided that because of the conditions, Marc and I would steer through the night.
We had some pre made lasagna for dinner but Jantine made a delicious dessert, backed banana with a bit of rum and sugar. That was a real treat indeed.
As the night went on the wind dropped a bit but the waves were still pretty high, high enough for Marc to set the speed record at 14.9 kts surfing down the waves with only half a gennoa. Overall we did about 165 Nm that day and that's a day record for this trip
At sunrise the waves had decreased also a bit, enough to set the main again double reefed and we pooled out the gennoa. With a Westerly wind, we're now pointing at Brest. The plan is to then sail Northeast, to the South coast of England, head for Dover and cross the Channel there. By this we can avoid the South West of England where another depression is forecasted to bring a lot of wind.
The plan was to point at Brest... well whatever. The wind changed so we gibed and then we were pointing at Land’s End.
Again it was a very nice and sunny day and on top of that we got visited by a pack of dolphins, not just once but three times. The last group was really funny. They were doing all kind of tricks jumping out of the water. It even looked like they were trying to splash Jantine who was watching them on the bow. Later that day we also saw a huge turtle.
Last night we got to see the first sight of land. Not real land yet but the lighthouse of Bishop Rock just South of the Scilly Isles. From now on we have to be very careful and watch out for other ships. The Sea-me sure helps other vessels to see us but the AIS that's supposed to give us information about the others does not really work. It only shows vessels that are very, or better, way too close by. It might be that the antenna is too low to work accurately. Which is a bit strange because the one I had before worked fine with the same antenna. Anyway, we checked in properly with the Falmouth Coastguard and now we’re on our way into the Channel just about South of Dartmouth.
The wind has died a bit but it’s supposed to pick up again later today. The direction is fine though and if it stays this way, it'll bring us all the way to Scheveningen.