Day 6 - Bermuda to Guernsay

Stravaig'n the Blue
Mon 30 May 2022 17:47
Position: 36:13.8 N 050:47.2 W
Position timestamp: Monday 30 May 2022 14:00 (UTC-2)
Distance travelled in last 23 hours: 160 NM (average speed 6.9 knots)
Reduction in distance to destination: 110 NM
Shortest distance to destination: 2223 NM (great circle)

Good speed and distance travelled in the last 23 hours but a disappointing reduction in the distance still to go. This is because we are tracking a little south following a review of the weather forecast we downloaded yesterday evening.

The frontal system that will overtake us some time on Wednesday morning is indicating 30 knot winds at 37N and 22 knot winds at 34N. Neither wind speed will be particularly accurate but avoiding the additional 8 knots seems worth the detour - the force of the wind is related to the square of its speed so a 30 knot wind has almost twice the force of a 22 knot wind. We are currently close to two other yachts headed in exactly the same direction as us, presumably having come to the same conclusion.

Just before midnight we crossed longitude 52.5 west and entered a new time zone, UTC-2. (The UK is currently UTC+1.) So today’s challenge was remembering how to move all of our time pieces forward one hour. On land, much of this is automatic. You go to bed on a Saturday night in late March; at 2am your phone knows to move the time on by an hour and in the morning it wakes you up at the usual time for a Sunday. You then spend the rest of the day grumpy because you are short of sleep and confused by the wall clocks appearing to have lost an hour.

In the good old days there was always a short article on the front page of every Saturday newspaper alerting everyone to the fact that the clocks would be going forward an hour at 2am on Sunday. The articles would then point out that there was no need to set your alarm for 2am and get up to make the change then; it was quite permissible for you to make the change before going to bed. There was never any suggestion that you could avoid missing an hour’s sleep by making the change in the morning; this would risk you being late for church. In fact I remember the time the deaconess who ran the local Sunday school clearly having failed to heed the warning and turning up, very flustered and hugely embarrassed, an hour late. She was the talk of the town for weeks after.

When we crossed the Atlantic going east to west and were putting the clocks back, we added 30 minutes to the first two night watches and we both got some extra kip. Rather than shorten the night watches going west to east, we decided to move the clocks forward at noon. The list of things needing adjustment is lengthy: three iPhones, two iPads, two Kindles, one MacBook, one Apple TV, one satellite phone, two wall clocks, one desk clock and the chartplotter. There are also our wearables but as we aren’t wearing them at sea, they can wait until we are wearing them again.

With no connection to the internet, our digital devices couldn’t work out where they were and we had to switch off automatic date & time setting, then choose our time zone from a drop down list of place names. Where else in the world is on UTC-2? There aren’t many that’s for sure. After trying Reykjavik in Iceland (UTC), the wonderfully named Ittoqqortoormiit in Greenland (also UTC) and Stanley in The Falkland Islands (UTC-1), I tried some of the Brazilian locations and eventually found one, the east-most of them all, Fernando de Noronha that is UTC-2. I have since discovered that Nuuk in Greenland is also UTC-2.

Time zones are 15 degrees wide so the next change, at 37.5 west, should be five days from now. That’s something to be looking forward to.

During this morning’s headsail change we found five stowaway squid that had been washed on to the deck. Two had jettisoned their ink. Messy!

All is well unless you were a squid.