The hydrovane is supposed to steer the boat to the wind. Despite our best efforts we have not been able to master it, so Monday we lifted and stowed it’s rudder. This at least should help reduce our drag.
There weren’t any boats near us at night so we could play Caro Emerald as loud as we liked. We didn’t have to worry about any possible collisions either. However we have been quite active communicating with other boats. The VHF radio allows for two way talking with our near neighbours (around 25 miles) For great distances single side band radio has a range around 500 miles (4200 Hz).The fleet is split into groups and we are encourage to have a general discussion with the group at midday. Each boat takes it in turn to be the Net controller. Discussions centre around current position, weather forecast, boat speed, catches of the day etc. There are many different nationalities but fortunately for us the calls are English language based. It’s valuable to be able to talk to your neighbours. We can share our experiences and knowledge where appropriate. It’s a pity we don’t have a hydro vane expert nearby.
The wind continued to build and so too the waves, some around 5 m high but also the sea is very confused so balancing on board is difficult. We did manage to surf down some waves though and topped out at over 11 knots. See photo. We took turns to rest the autohelm and save our battery power. About 1 hr is all I could manage but it was great fun surging through the breaking waves.
In the evening our large fish provided us with a Thai green curry with noodles dinner, courtesy of Capt Jon and Dugald. It was eaten out of a bowl on our laps as the table was untenable. Then we took to our beds.
During the night the wind increased to 25 knots with gusts up to 30 and the waves were surfing us. Sleep was very difficult, even with a lea cloth.
Tuesday dawned and it’s Saint Andrews Day, but no wild celebrations on board even though we are a Stornaway reg boat based now on Skye. No bagpipes or single malts are anywhere to be seen.
Hopefully today also marks our halfway point both in nautical miles and in time. We are predicting 1,400 nautical miles to go which should take us 9 more days!
Picture of ships log. image1