LN905 14/09/2016 – The fair winds from yesterday continued all night and we sailed on with a top speed of 7.1 knots. The peace of moving under sail with the darkness closing in gave a “coziness” that seemed to lift the spirits of the entire crew. Watches that in daylight served as functional look-outs became opportunities to share stories. And the wind stayed up all night and the crew awoke under sail. “We’ve been making better progress than we could have even with the engines on” was the message from morning meeting. As well as that – with our entrance into British waters – we would be moving an hour backwards in time as at 18:30 it would suddenly become 17:30. Despite well-meaning suggestions, we declined to use this particular 60 minutes for another “happy hour”, however, it made us feel that little bit closer to home with an ear out for British accents on the Coastguard radio and an eye out for the first sight of land.

Almost exactly on the call for lunch the wind dropped and swung around towards the bow, our speed dropped to 0.1knots and even with the best “helming” to keep us pointing at 240 our true course had us drifting off sideways at 45degrees on 285. Lunch was polished off, sails were handed, engines were started and we were on our way, fearing it would be the last time we saw our royals and spanker set.

There’s been some wildlife of interest – there’s a rumour of 2 little finches on board, revealing themselves by fluttering about the deck after they must’ve stowed away at the Elbe or Helgoland. And in the twilight somebody else reported a bat! Maybe a late-night finch, maybe a bat that fancied our unfurled and sheeted sails as a place to hang.