Fair Winds and Following Seas - bit rough but

Noon Position: 49 53.0 N 025 38.0 W
Course: East 6 knots
Wind: West nor'west, fresh
Weather: Overcast, mild. Sea: moderate on a 3 meter swell
Day's Run: 142 miles

The wind has continued to back and freshen as expected, getting up to force
6, that's 22-27 knots, for several hours last night. It has now eased a little, we have a large swell running which Sylph is at times rolling heavily to, but otherwise taking it all in her stride.

I shipped my storm boards yesterday, they close off the companionway hatch
leading from the cockpit to the cabin below. I had modified them before
leaving Annapolis, replacing the upper board with a piece of transparent
acrylic so it could act as a window. This has worked very well, I can close
out the wind and rain now without feeling totally isolated from what is
going on outside. I was also impressed with how quiet and peaceful the cabin
became with the boards shipped, and warmer as well. I guess because the old
boards blocked everything out I very rarely shipped the upper board. I'd put
that down as a success with only some minor adjustments to be made.

Another win this passage is my chain pipe cover for the cable locker, I
fitted some rubber tape around the edge of the pipe in the way of a seal and
the bilge has been drier this passage then ever before. My goal is one day
to have all the hatches and other deck fittings etc which can allow even a
drip in to be fully watertight, so the bilge will remain totally dry
regardless of the conditions (though condensation in cold water is hard to
beat). The main objective here is to protect the hull from rust. There are
many areas I cannot get to without stripping the cabin furniture, something
I may do one day if I live long enough and make a windfall. In the meantime
I chip, wire brush, paint and try to keep the bilges dry.

I expect the conditions will remain much the same over the next 24 hours,
then they should become light ahead of another low pressure system. We shall
have to watch this system closely, if it goes well it might give us the push
north to Galway Bay, where we wish to go. (Our aim is to compare the
Guinness with that which Fintin serves at the Galway Bay Irish Pub in
Annapolis.) On the other hand, the west coast of Ireland is prone to heavy
swells and making a landfall there with a strong onshore wind is not
recommended. This may mean having to make landfall on the south or even east
coast. Such are the joys of cruising in a small boat.

Bob Cat:

Zzzzzzz.

All is well.

* The wind is said to "back" when its direction shifts in an anticlockwise
direction, (this is its simplest definition, just in case someone wants to
nitpick).