Day 7, Guernsey to Lanzarote

Stravaig'n the Blue
Thu 15 Oct 2020 14:00
Position: 36.21.78 N 010.11.65 W (190 NM west of Cadiz)
Position timestamp: Wednesday 15th October 2020 11:00 BST (UTC+1)
Distance travelled last 24 hours: 174 NM
Distance travelled total: 1023 NM
Average speed: 6.47 knots
Distance to destination (Arrecife): 471 NM
ETA based on average speed so far: 02:00 Sunday 18th October 2020

Good progress in the last 24 hours: 174 NM sailed and distance to destination reduced by 164 (vs 97 yesterday). This was despite three fairly slow hours yesterday while we were swapping from the Furlstrøm to the BWR and a couple of hours this morning when the wind dropped as low as 10 knots and our speed reduced to between 4.5 and 5.5 knots.

At lunch time the wind dropped further so we furled the BWR and switched on the engine. The wind is forecast to pick up later this afternoon so hopefully we’ll be able to switch off the engine over night. But with the wind forecast to fade again tomorrow morning I expect we’ll be using the engine again to be sure of getting to Arrecife before the wind turns south during the day on Sunday.

We have seen seven or eight yachts in the last 36 hours. Some are clearly heading for the Canaries while others have turned east along the Algarve, possibly heading on into the Med. We saw one, Wind of Change MMSI 211797770, whose owners had splashed out on a Class-A AIS system so we knew its destination: Portimao, Portugaj. My feeling is they should have splashed out a little more to get one with a spell checker.

The other AIS curiosity we encountered was a US tug, Captain Latham MMSI 338462000, which was heading back to the Chesapeake. That’s quite a journey, about 3200 NM so 13-14 days at 10 knots. The curious thing about Captain Latham was the ship’s icon on our chartplotter was pointing north while the extension line, showing the direction and speed of travel, was pointing west, consistent with tug’s destination, so it looked as though the boat was going to crab its way across the Atlantic. When I spoke to Captain Latham’s captain to inform him that we were under sail and would he kindly alter course to pass behind us I mentioned the AIS anomaly. He was grateful for the info as it confirmed what he’d been suspecting for a while that there was something up with the tug’s heading sensor. I have always found knowing the direction in which my boat is heading to be very useful and occasionally essential. Setting off across the Atlantic suspecting that the heading information may be incorrect strikes me as odd.

All is well


PS  I include MMSI numbers in case anyone wants to check out these vessels on vesselfinder or marinetraffic.