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Starblazer - 10/11/2016 – The Beaufort Scale

Wind is essential to a yacht but yachtsmen are a hard bunch to please; it’s
either too little, too much, wrong direction, variable direction or just
totally unpredictable. In the past 24 hours we have had the lot. In
yesterday’s blog I threatened to start the engine, as John added a couple of
hours later, I didn’t. The wind was playing with us, promising a little
more then dying. Between 0600 and 0900 we only made 10 miles, just too high
an average speed to justify starting the engine and incurring a motoring
penalty! By 0920 we had added just half a mile to our distance travelled so
turned on the engine. Our day’s run to noon was a meagre 120 nM, it would
have been about 105 by sail alone!

The afternoon wasn’t any better, in fact we had Beaufort Force 1, no wind at
all. When the GPS says you are travelling at 6 knots and the wind
instruments declare the apparent wind, i.e. the breeze the sensor feels, is
6 knots from straight ahead you know the engine is making the breeze! Force
2 won’t move the boat, it might blow smoke gently sideways but not a lot
else. When the wind reached the top end of Force 3 we turned off the engine
and sailed, albeit rather slowly but faster than our self-declared 2.5 knot
engine on limit. The forecast was quite promising for the night: 5 – 20
from between W and SW, increasing this morning to 20 – 25 with gusts to 30
from SW to NW. In case the stronger winds came in a little early we decided
to drop one reef in the main and take down the pole while the only wind was
of our making. It did mean we were under-canvassed until the wind built
from 5 to 20 which is a Force 5. The angle of the wind means it is a beat,
no longer the rock and roll which is annoying just the constant heeling to
port. It makes cooking challenging but sleeping is more comfortable as we
use the portside salon berth on passage.

The day’s run will not be fantastic but it should be a lot better than
yesterday’s. We have calculated that we need to average 5.99 knots to
arrive in nanny Cay on Tortola by 1800 Monday, now the wind has got to
behave as forecast!

Wednesday’s dinner was baked salmon with mashed potatoes, carrots and French


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