Slow Going

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 11 Jul 2009 13:21
Noon Position:: 52 56.6 N 005 40.9 W
Course: North Speed: 6 knots
Wind: South, gentle breeze
Weather: overcast, some drizzle and fog. Sea: slight, nil swell.
Day's run: 71

We're getting there, but slowly. Another drifter last night, and fog. Yesterday evening I heard a deep distant rumble, the unmistakeable sound of big diesels. I peered anxiously into the murk, it wasn't exactly thick fog, but it was still pretty soupy. Eventually a vague shape started to emerge off our starboard quarter, it took a while for its strange profile and colouring to register - it was a fast wave piercing catamaran ferry! It didn't look like it was going top speed but it was still travelling pretty fast. It seems the commercial world has a very different concept of safe speed from the one I was taught during my naval navigation classes.

The light breeze which we carried for most of the day died during the night, I left the sails up for quite a while as the seas were calm and the swell minimal hence no slatting to disturb the peace. But at 2.30 a.m. it was evident even to me that the sails were doing nothing, I dropped the mainsail but left the jib up to catch any puffs that might happen along. The tidal streams here are fairly strong, up to three knots, and for some the night we drifted backwards, describing elegant elongated sine waves on the Sylph's trusty little GPS plotter.

At 6.50 my morning scan out into the grey soggy world revealed a little wind so up went the main and out went the whisker pole to run (defintely not in the galloping sense) before the ghost of breeze. Gradually it has freshened into a nice following wind, by tomorrow it is supposed to be half a gale, on the north-west coast a full gale, but by then I hope to be either alongside or riding to anchor. We have a bit over twenty miles to go, the tide has turned against us slowing us a little but if all goes well I expect we should be snug by about 8 p.m.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

A fresh bag of hard tack got opened yesterday, oh joy! Actually it does taste a quite a bit better, that big old bag I have been eating from was getting pretty green I reckon, actually saw skipper Bob throw the remnants over the side, so even he reckons it was getting on the nose. There is hope. Now content to sleep. Zzzzzz.