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La Cigale - Day 6 - 24 November - Depression

Onto our sixth day, the longest length of time we've ever been without sight of land, or alcohol, and we headed straight into a depression! The idea was to skirt the gale, taking advantage of the depression winds, initially southerlies, turning into westerlies to allow us to tack South, but we went in too deep. Bumpiest of nights, wind reaching to over 40 knots at points (30 knots constant), by dawn fully-reefed mainsail and solent at 60% as we sailed through warm front of low depression. "Good thing I like rollercoasters, Mum!" said Isabelle.

While the wind direction was as expected, the strength was much greater than forecast and the waves reached to 4m, double the prediction on the grid files. As a result, we decided to cut our losses and leg it South, retracing part of our course earlier in the day. Within hours of us heading South the wind disappeared. It has eventually returned with a 15 knot southerly, which is great for our progress West but not the most helpful for joining the trade winds South. We live and learn...

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