Day 18 - Bermuda to Guernsey

Stravaig'n the Blue
Sun 12 Jun 2022 10:20
Position: 44:17.2 N 020:19.2 W
Position timestamp: Saturday 11 June 2022 14:00 (UTC)
Distance travelled in last 23 hours: 125 NM (average speed 5.4 knots)
Reduction in distance to destination: 121 NM
Shortest distance to destination: 790 NM (great circle)

The wind continued to drop as the barometer continued to rise and by 5am this morning there was less than 7 knots, insufficient pressure to keep the sails filled in the still sloppy seas. So we dropped the sails, switched on the engine and we’ve been motoring directly towards Guernsey since then. If reality matches the weather forecast there should be enough wind from the north-east some time after midnight to start sailing again.

The Day 16 blog post is missing because the email containing the Day 16 entry left my MacBook but didn’t reach the mailasail server. The problem was caused by the satellite phone that acts as a data modem rebooting itself just after the email left the MacBook combined with a flawed implementation of the POP/SMTP protocols in our specialist satellite comms wifi router. (Sorry, way too much detail.) Logging and documenting the many problems we are having with satellite communications for later analysis by mailasail is certainly helping to fill the time.

As I can’t repost Day 16 while at sea without creating confusion on chart graphic at the top of the blog, here is what you missed.

I can’t tell you our position on Day 16 because this post would then contain two positions which would confuse the mailasail server, possibly causing it to reject this post entirely. But I can tell you that we covered 150 miles and reduced our distance to go by 133.

I reported that we didn’t notice Tropical Storm Alex passing but we were 500 miles to the south so perhaps unsurprising. The UK Met Office was forecasting Gale Force 8 through Storm Force 10 winds in the sea areas west of Ireland and Scotland and all of the way up to Iceland in the next 12 hours as Alex continued tracking north-east.

I also reported that the then current forecast indicated we will run out of wind early on Saturday (which duly happened) when a ridge of high pressure stretching from the Azores to Cornwall takes hold of the weather on our direct route, well into next week.

Finally, there was the second part of Linda’s account of how she provisioned for this passage.

After we ferried the provisions from the town dock to Stravaig, all I had to do was get everything stored on board. The freezer was filled with meal-size portions of fish, prawns, meats, a couple of loaves of bread, and meals that I pre-prepared, like falafels, meatballs and kofta. I even squeezed in four ice lollies (ah, so two left, Ed) and some squares of locally baked cake. The fridge was stacked full, too, with vegetables and salad stuff (all sealed in special green keep-fresh storage bags), vac-packed cheeses and meats, yoghurt, milk, juice and water. 

Of course, I’d provisioned for four weeks - that’s a lot of fresh food - so not everything I bought fitted in the fridge. Cabbages, carrots, peppers, tomatoes and courgettes, along with melons, apples, unripe pears and mangoes and pomegranates, were individually wrapped in kitchen paper and packed into a variety of spaces - vegetables keeping cool in crates under the floor, fruits and tomatoes tucked into the aft cabin wardrobe shelves, and a hanging net suspended from the tech-room ceiling held all the citrus fruits. And to stop them ripening too quickly, our precious bananas were all stored on a dark shelf.

We were ready to go, but before we set sail, I turned the shopping lists into storage lists on my iPad so that I knew exactly where everything was and could keep a tally of what we had eaten - and, more importantly, what was left!

All is well