Day 3 - Bermuda to Guernsey

Stravaig'n the Blue
Fri 27 May 2022 22:07
Position: 34:24.0 N 059:19.9 W
Position timestamp: Friday 26 May 2022 14:00 (UTC-3)
Distance travelled in last 24 hours: 116 NM at an average speed of 4.75 knots
Reduction in distance to destination: 87 NM
Shortest distance to destination: 2623 NM (great circle)

The last 24 hours were hard work and, with poor progress, quite frustrating.  Initially the wind, 15 to 20 knots, was from the north-east (which was where we wanted to go) but was forecast to veer and be south-east by early this morning. We spent the day heading east into fairly lumpy seas and then ESE in the evening as the wind started to veer.  By midnight the wind was from the east and we tacked on to starboard and started heading north, still in lumpy seas. By dawn the wind was ESE and we were heading in the right direction. But we’d only reduced our distance to Guernsey by 87 miles, poor going against our modest daily target of 125.

Detailed weather routing is down to us but we have our good friend from dinghy racing days, Tim Corner, keeping an eye on the big picture. The weather files we can download over our satellite link cover only the sea area we will be in over the next four to six days whereas Tim can see what is developing in the whole of the Atlantic in the next two weeks. Tim has flagged two situations we need to avoid.

The first is a small high pressure system, and therefore very light winds, centred on 37N 48W tomorrow. We have had a close look at this and, fortunately, due to our slow progress, the high will have moved away south-east long before we get there.

The second situation is more problematic. There’s a complex low pressure system centred on 45N 45W on June 1st which will produce very strong winds even as far south as 37N, 500 miles from the centre.  The route we devised just before we left Bermuda had us passing very close to what will be the centre of this low; our forecast at that time indicated windy but manageable conditions. Clearly things have changed. Our plan for dealing with this is to continue in a north-easterly direction until we are about 36N (some time tomorrow) and then continue directly east along that parallel in moderate southerly winds that will be fresher and from the west by mid week. That should keep us out of trouble but we will be monitoring the situation closely in case we need to retreat further south.

For the moment, the winds have moderated as have the seas, we are no longer hard on the wind and the boat is level (almost). All is well.