Sunday 14 June 2015

The greate escape

We cast off our moorings around 1400 having previously put two reefs in the main because we could see it was blowing pretty hard from the NW. I hoped this was because with a change in wind direction from NE to NW with the consequence that the wind was now blowing along the coast, that the acceleration zone had also moved. We briefly considered a delay to our departure because of the strong wind from where we wanted to head but decided it was worth banking on the above logic.

We left and under half a Genoa only sailed at right angles to coast to escape the acceleration zone if that was what it was.

5 miles off Calheta on a bearing of 50° things calmed down a bit and we hoisted the double reefed main and hardened up onto the wind close hauled. After a cup of tea shook out the reefs in the Genoa and made 5.5+k on a course of around 280-290°m with Angus doing a fine job on the helm. The wind has slackens further and now down to under 5k. May have to shake out a reef from the main soon.

The wind is forecast to go round to the NE slowly over the next 24 hours so we may just stay on this tack and let Angus follow the wind until we can lay Santa Maria. There's high pressure to the SW of the Azores due to drift NE over the coming days and the last grib files (wind computerised wind direction forecast, shows we would have better winds (less calms) to get through if we approach from the eastern quadrant rather than the western, so that's what we'll try to do.

Perfect sailing now. Just need the dolphins!

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