Antigua to Norfolk VA - day 2

Stravaig'n the Blue
Tue 11 May 2021 20:30
End of day 2 position: 21:36.9 N  064:48.4 W
Position timestamp: Tuesday 11 May 2021 11:00 UTC-4
Distance travelled last 24 hours / in total: 160 / 326 NM
Average speed since departure: 6.6 knots
Shortest distance to destination: 1114 NM

The wind stayed in the 18-22 knots range for about twelve hours longer than forecast and started to drop just before lunch time today. The mainsail reefs are now out and the Furlstrom (116m2) has replaced the Solent (44m2) at the front of the boat. We are tanking along in 14-17 knots from the east and expect this to continue until Thursday morning at which point the wind is forecast to start decreasing.

We have always known that, weather-wise, this would be a passage of two halves. The first half would be in easterly trade winds and the second half would be dominated by north Atlantic low pressure systems which could deliver wind from almost any direction. Cornell’s Ocean Atlas shows the winds off the Carolinas and Virginia in May being equally likely from all points of the compass with a slight bias to south westerlies (which would suit us just fine). When we departed Antigua the forecast for the Carolinas and Virginia was north easterlies early next week and south westerlies later in the week. If this doesn’t change we’ll slow down to avoid the former and catch the latter.

We also knew there would be a zone between the easterly trades and the low pressure systems where, most likely, there would be light winds. It looks as though we are going to run into that zone on Friday and be in it until early Sunday. Rather than motor through it we may take advantage of it to slow our progress under sail.

The humidity is reducing, as are the seas. All is well.