26/05/2017 – Three time zones on one boat.

Yes, really we have three time zones on Starblazer, or rather clocks etc. showing three different times. ‘Why?’ you may ask. The answer is easy. The clock on the wall tells us the time in UT or GMT or Zulu Time, whatever. All time zones around the world are based on Greenwich. The earth rotates 360 degrees each 24 hours therefore 15 degrees of longitude constitute one hour of the earth’s travels. Not all countries set their clocks by their geographic location, some choose to align themselves with their neighbour for convenience. Bermuda was UT -4 that means you have to take four hours off UT to find the time in Bermuda, summer time just complicates matters. We started this leg on Bermuda time so the GPS and our iPads are set to UT -3 to account for summer time. Our destination is The Azores, UT -1, however they also have summer time so the time there is UT. Yesterday we made the decision to change our wrist watches, overnight watches and mealtimes to UT -2. The reason for this was because of the daylight hours. As we have sailed eastwards the sunrise has got earlier and earlier and dusk has also arrived earlier. We like to eat both breakfast and dinner in daylight, hence the time change on our wrist watches. The iPads have alarms set to remind us when to do the log and when to turn the SSB on for the twice daily radio net. We will stay on our own personal time zone until we arrive, hopefully next Tuesday. If we went forward another hour the evening SSB net would be when I should be asleep and it’s difficult to sleep through that! ..... ..... The predicted weather happened. We had lower winds than the boats 100 or so miles further north, though still enough to encourage us to roll away most of the genoa. The wind was from behind so we could keep the full mainsail. As the boat speeds forwards it reduces the true wind speed from behind, giving something called the apparent wind. The apparent wind is what the boat feels, if a boat can feel, and you set the sails accordingly. This morning, Friday, a weak cold front passed slowly over us bringing clouds and drizzle, heavy at times. The winds from overnight have led to swells of 3-4 metres and the waves roll in on top of that. Sitting in the cockpit this morning I was struck by the beauty of these crashing waves but not when they crash into the boat and shower the cockpit! At a distance the breaking crests just look white but as they approach they have an emerald glint in them. If they break right alongside you can see the most beautiful light turquoise. Somehow, the English Channel never seems so appealing! ..... ..... The day’s run to noon Friday was 149 nM, hooray. From now on things should improve because we have now gybed and are heading towards Horta on Faial rather than due east or lower to avoid the worst of the weather. We are both well, the boat is doing fantastically and we hope for a Tuesday arrival. ..... ..... Thursday’s dinner was grilled beefburgers on a bed of noodles accompanied by a vegetable stir fry. The one culinary failure was the Easiyo yogurt which refused to set and I don’t know why. ..... ..... Joyce

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