46 37.001n 13 04.510w

Fettler's AZAB
Jez Rowles
Tue 8 Aug 2023 16:59

Speed: 4 kts 

 

Course:  070

 

Distance to Black Rock, Falmouth Harbour at 5pm BST:  389 miles

 

Sailing

 

Same beautiful blue sky, same deep blue sea and same story on the wind front but a very different mindset today.  I lost the wind completely last night so took down the main which makes the boat a lot more unstable but it’s a good sail and I don’t want it taking more punishment than it needs to.  I also pulled a grib for a wider area so I can see what’s coming and the answer is that “the breeze will build overnight tonight from the south, turning SE and then giving me a proper lashing with 25 kts from the East in the early morning tomorrow” (I plan to be heading North and hanging on by that point). 

I should then get some pretty stiff southerlies (again 20 / 25 kts) which will drop away to a good usable SW breeze to get me up the channel by the weekend . 

 

That’s what I think is coming anyway. 

Nature

 

It’s been like a millpond at times and I have seen nothing.  I’m guessing (and its nothing but a guess) that the sea birds want to be where there is wind to make their flight more efficient because there are none here and I usually see plenty of shearwaters.

 

General

 

I have treated this as the calm before the storm.  Actually, quite literally since I was awake just before 4 am (and every 30 or 40 minutes between 11pm and 7am but that is surprisingly easy to adjust to )and went into the cockpit to have a look round.  The sea was so smooth and the stars so bright that you couldn’t see where one stopped and the other started – fantastic.  I turned off the boat lights and just sat there for 10 minutes trying to imprint the memory. 

 

Then I remembered that I’m not a hippy and went back to bed because you never know when the sleep logged will be useful.

 

I’ve been getting things ready for a blast north when some of the domestics get a little challenging because the boat moves quite violently at times (particularly in a cross wind when the seas hit us side on).  The paraffin tank is full and pressurised for the cooker and I brimmed the diesel tank (Just over 40 litres went in and I have about 5 litres in reserve to get me into a port if I burn the rest, but that seems unlikely now).

I’ve also set up the inner forestay so that I can use the working jib and storm sail when necessary as we wont be doing much tacking to windward in the next few days.  I am really pleased with the roller genoa which was re-cut from an existing hank on by Steve at North Sea Sails in Tollesbury, the cut is brilliant.  That product placement will be wasted on Steve as I think he is still operating in about 1986 and the internet and blogging wont be along for a couple of decades – anyway, he’s done an excellent job. 

 

I’ve also spoken to Em as I have surplus minutes on the sat phone (I hope !). 

 

Texts

 

Tim – Thanks for update on weather.

Who knows, I may see that barge again if it’s in Portland now.  That’s one of the potential stopping points if I keep going up the channel.  And well above 26 degrees of heat here today, it’s blistering on deck.

 

Mum – Glad Tino should live to fight another day.