Day 5, Guernsey to Lanzarote

Stravaig'n the Blue
Tue 13 Oct 2020 18:41
Position: 41.07.15 N 011.36.34 W (134 NM west of Porto)
Position timestamp: Tuesday 13th October 2020  11:00 BST (UTC+1)
Distance travelled last 24 hours: 149 NM
Distance travelled total: 691 NM
Average speed: 6.29 knots
Distance to destination (Arrecife): 740 NM
ETA based on average speed so far: Saturday 17th October 2020, 22:00

After almost 5 days on starboard tack we are adjusting to being tipped the other way on port tack. How best to brace yourself while working at the galley or standing in the shower. Where’s most comfortable to sit while eating or blogging. Which side of the bunk to sleep on. How to put something back in the lower section of a cupboard without the sliding drawer full of pans in the upper section shooting out and smacking you (Linda in this case) on the cheek bone - ouch. How to avoid sliding off the loo.

Great excitement just before lunch time when we spotted another yacht, Caramba MMSI 227097760, and crossed ahead within a few miles of her. This screenshot shows Caramba at about 8 miles distance (before we had her visually), the point at which we gybed at 08:25 (20+ miles away) and a water depth of 34.6 metres when in fact the depth was closer to 4,000 metres. This is a very intermittent but well documented feature of our depth transducer which only happens in very deep water. Nonetheless it does cause a certain amount of panic every time it first happens.

Caramba was heading SW (to our SE) but other than that we have no idea where she was going. (If your destination lies directly downwind it is generally faster to zig-zag rather than sail direct so she could have been on a zig to our zag.) Like us, Caramba has Class-B AIS, a cut-down version of commercial shipping’s Class-A AIS. In the cutting down, two useful fields have been dropped: Destination and Status (eg under way, moored, being towed), although both are useful only if kept up-to-date. Crossing Biscay I saw one fishing boat who’d solved the problem of constantly having to update the Destination by setting it to Fishing and another who’d set it to Here and There. If Class-B had Destination my guess is that most pleasure craft would just set it to There and Back. In the Caribbean we encountered a P&O cruise liner steaming towards us at 20 knots whose AIS status was Anchored. They were distinctly unappreciative when we hailed them on the VHF radio to point out their inattention to detail.

The wind has been a steady F5, occasionally F6, all day and we’ve been making very good speed, touching over 10 knots in some of the gusts. I know that sounds shabby in comparison with the multi-hull that passed us at 40 knots the other night but we are more than happy. It is 80 NM to the Berlenga islands near the Portuguese fishing village of Peniche. We’ve switched from our Furlstrøm to our staysail (even smaller than the Solent) and put a second reef in the mainsail.  This has reduced our speed to 6 or so knots which will make for a more comfortable night and see us arriving just over 12 miles offshore at around 08:00.

All is well.


PS, a correction to the Gybe-oh post: when I said "The wind also backed overnight so that by daybreak we were heading SW” I did in fact mean to say that the wind veered. Apologies if this caused any confusion.