Monday, 19 June 2023, 07.30

Mon 19 Jun 2023 07:31
First a quick review of weather systems in the North Atlantic, largely for my benefit. Dead simple: Winds rotate around a low in an anti-clockwise direction and round a high clockwise. When we left Horta we were on the east side of a big, but not deep Atlantic low and caught the right side of that low to give us fair winds. Lows tend to move north and east, in this case slowly, and the net result is that favourable winds have stayed with us for over 1,000 miles. We are now at the bottom end of the low as it moves further north of us and the winds are getting lighter and increasingly SW.

Yesterday morning the winds were light and increasingly pushing us in a line south of Ushant and early this wind shift brought rain and very light winds. We dropped the main, left some genoa up to steady the boat and motor sailed at 6 Kn. We have enough diesel to motor all the way to Plymouth. However we are sailors and with a wind shift back to SW we poled out the two headsails , using our one good and one splintered pole that I had broken on passage to the Azores (duct tape has its uses). With a whisper of wind we eased our way on a direct line to Plymouth at around 4 Kn. Even dolphins abandoned us very quickly disgusted with our crawling pace.

In the early dark hours the wind shifted so the Monitor steered us towards Ireland under our downwind rig. We’re slowly getting the hang of the poles but decided to continue on the NNE track until it was light. At 05.00 we rolled the headsails, stowed the poles and then set a course NE towards Plymouth with full main and Genoa. Light winds making around 5 Kn.

Just over 200 miles to Plymouth - we might get there tomorrow evening.

48:43.45N 008:44.36W