Drifting Along - Again!

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 3 Sep 2009 11:54
Position: 41 46.3 N 009 15.9 W
Course: Drifting
Wind: West (I think), light air. Calm on a moderate swell.
Weather: Sunny, mild
Day's run: 52 miles

What a frustrating 24 hours! Headwinds continued throughout the afternoon and evening. Early in the evening a gale waring was issued on the VHF, I wasn't exactly sure for where but if I heard it on VHF then it must be reasonably close to Sylph's position. I scratched my head in disbelief. My weather maps showed a front approaching but the isobars seemed too far apart for a force 8 gale. Still some dark weather was gathering on the western horizon towards sunset and caution being, well not exactly my middle name, if I had a long Spanish name it would probably be included in their somewhere, I put a reef in the mainsail and partially furled the jib.. We were under canvassed but still plodding along to windward at about four knots. Some drizzle announced the front's approach, I am looking anxiously around waiting for the sudden gust of wind that often accompanies the passage of a cold front but it never happened. Just after midnight the drizzle had cleared, the stars started to appear and the wind dropped. At half past midnight I had dropped sail and we were once more rolling and drifting to the ever present westerly swell, and have been since.

We have sailed and drifted an abysmal 52 miles and only made 23.5 miles in the direction of our destination. At this rate Lisboa could take a bit of getting to. On the plus side got a good night's sleep and now the sun is shining; broke the boom crutch last night while stowing the boom so maybe I will have a go at repairing that this afternoon.

All is well

Bob Cat:

What a night! The skipper sure can get cranky sometimes, no idea why, though we were rolling around a bit more than usual. I am a very tolerant old cat, I don't mind sharing the settee berth with him but last night he wanted it all to himself and he kicked me out. How selfish! I had to make do with the V-Berth, not optimal when the boat is moving about so much but one has to make do; all good data. And now I need to catch up on some quality ... Zzzzzzz.