Passage to USA – days 3 & 4

Day 3: Monday 1st June 2015
DTG: 420nm
ETA: Friday 5th June

As ever, the northerly current we were expecting did not materialise. Our tracking shows we should have been smack-bang in a northerly flow of around 2knots, but in fact there was an ever-so-slight current against us. Bummer. I was hoping to be tearing along at 7knots, but we barely made our usual 5knot average. Not too worry though as our ETA remains Friday 5th June.

We did expect, however, we would get light winds (wind data more reliable than current data it seems), and by the end of the day we had the iron sail running and a full genoa helping us along in less than 10knots from the south (ideally we need around 15/20knots from behind to fully sail). Tuesday night we expect winds from southwest to ease as a front passes over bringing with it stronger northeasterly winds.

Day 4: Tuesday 2nd June 2015
DTG: 320nm
**Happy Birthday Phill**

Today our course was more north than west. Our goal was to reach the higher latitudes sooner and take advantage of the nor-northeasterly winds expected on Wednesday morning, and to get out of the Gulf Stream. Motor sailing mostly, we were lucky to have a consistent stretch of decent wind before nightfall where we could give the iron sail a break and enjoy a respite from its noise.

By 9.30pm the wind stopped Blue Heeler dead in the water; like hitting an invisible wall of air. The first signs of the approaching front. The bright moonlight revealed a black stretch of cloud coming from the west. For his sins the moon was soon blanketed, now and again its warm glow peeked from behind the clouds.

Wednesday morning…

My watch between 10pm-2am was uneventful as the wind steadied to a 12knot sou’westerly blowing us slowly along. Like clockwork (it is amazing how the wind forecast can be so acutely accurate at times) at 3am the wind quickly shifted to the north bringing cloud, rain and 15-25knot winds. Close hauled had us sailing along swiftly by and bashing into the seas before sunrise. Earlier than I’d bargained for, I crawled from my bunk half awake to see what all the bouncing was about. Satisfied with the state of affairs, I went to the galley to whip up hot coffee, bacon and eggs for skipper. Unfortunately during this awkward culinary task the boat lurched and the two cracked eggs I’d set aside in a bowl prior to being fried were launched into space narrowly missing my fresh cup of coffee to splatter in the sink. It was at this point I fully woke up and began cursing the existence of eggs, yachts, cooking, lack of sleep and sailing in general. Wayne told me to “Stop yer cussing” or he’d hit me over my head with my cap! Laughter is the best medicine!

After I’d had my coffee, breakfast and whipped up a batch of hot bread buns, I sent Wayne down for a nap with a full belly (he’d been awake since 2am). I sat down (let’s face it; we’re always sitting down) picked up my book “Call the Midwife” (informative and candid read about midwifery in London’s East End in the 1950s). The wind is steady at around 20knots, we have current with us and I hope to finish my sleep sometime later today…

ETA remains Friday morning.

About blueheelerhr39

Sailing the world aboard Blue Heeler
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