21/05/2017 – Going in the right direction sometimes.

Day 3, noon Friday to noon Saturday, comprised a number of course changes. Our pathetically slow progress northeastwards to find a better breeze finally paid off from mid- afternoon onwards, when we could lay a course a bit closer to the desired one and pick up a bit of speed. From 0300 we were able to head straight for the Azores and we made cracking progress until about 0900. When I did the 0900 log the course we were making as opposed to steering was 30 degrees high, caused by an unexpected current. At the 0930 SSB net matters only got worse when the weather report and GRIB files were discussed. One boat has subscribed to a weather guru in the States who recommended getting down to between 34 and 35 degrees North to avoid some potentially very strong winds on Sunday/Monday. We were at 35 degrees 53 minutes where one minute equals one nautical mile. We decided to head southeast to reach 35 degrees before altering course to head due east as we believe 34 degrees is unnecessary. Being so low will have a knock on effect when the weather system has passed which I’ll describe in my next blog. The Azores are at 38 degrees north so slightly north of east from where we are. The result of the course change meant that we only made 13 miles towards our destination in the last 3 hour period to noon though we were sailing at over 7 knots. It’s all to do with Pythagoras! It isn’t all doom and gloom though, as we made a surprising 153 nM towards the Azores. Only 1393 nM to go. ..... ..... On the culinary front I decided to make a roast dinner though the beef was already previously cooked and sliced. Roast potatoes, roast butternut squash, individual Yorkshire puddings, green beans and gravy. Growing up, Friday was traditionally fish dinner day, a hangover from religion. Unfortunately I’d dished up the fish I’d defrosted on Thursday, so we had what is traditionally a Sunday dinner. Breakfast on Saturday morning was pancakes with assorted toppings as I had made a double batch of batter for the Yorkshire puddings. We continue to eat well. ..... ..... As you can tell, not a lot happens on passage, except sail changes, pole out for the genoa when the wind is aft, removed and the sheet rethreaded when the wind is on the beam or forwards, pole swapped to the other side when the gybe the mainsail etc. It is perhaps rather surprising that I don’t find it boring, something helped no end by the iPads. ..... ..... Joyce

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