POS – 46.46.97N
Log – 355 miles
Current Speed – 6.83 knots
Course – 235 degrees
Well into day 4 and ship board life has settled down into some sort of routine. The rough and tumble of the Channel crossing and the rounding of Ushant, the wet and miserably coruscating cold rain, the sea sickness and learning how to work within a watch are behind us…….for now.
Halloween and Brexit has been the topics of conversation, nothing too serious, but lots of little asides in the dark humour that we all find ourselves in just now. A fairly normal sort of morning: bracing and taking the ship onto a more westerly course (with a bit of south on the make) to get us around the Northwest corner of Spain. The really heavy weather is now expected to pass north of us and in a much reduced force. So under the pedagogical guidance of Captain Chris, we’ve dodged the worst of the weather to date. We even got some blue skies, patches of sunshine on the water, some stars during the night and a couple of whales today (but only their water sprouts visible).
You may ask, why are we sailing west and not directly south? Simple really – a good westerly wind would blow us into the Bay and Biscay and we would find it difficult to get out. It’s called getting embayed!
So for now, we’re motor sailing with the fore and aft sails set looking very serene to the passing traffic.
But the past 4 days haven’t been problem free, especially after a lengthy maintenance period. There was a lot of onboard and ashore preparations, packing the van with spare equipment, dumping redundant kit, stowing kit around the ship. And among all of that business a huge stores delivery arrived as we were embarking voyage crew.
Intros, EVAC training and harness fitting were completed, but most of the practical training was left till the Tuesday morning. Time was of the essence for the start of this voyage. We had to put to sea and get round Ushant before the weather window closed and we would be stormbound in Biscay. We had two Portland Dock tugs take us off the quay. The afternoon and overnight sailing was wild and thrashing and took a toll on the voyage crew. But getting to sea when we did was a niffty call. On day 2 we covered 199 miles in a day.
So there we have a quick summary of our first 4 days at sea. But the question is we will get to see the Rugby Cup Final on Saturday?
Fore Starboard Watch, Mike W/L, Ann, Tim, Tina, Sean, Roger, and Jim.
Position – 120 miles NNW of La Coruna
Log – 490 miles
Speed – 6 knots
Course – 190
Heading due south towards Cape Finnisterre on our way to an anchorage/berth on Sunday to escape the worst of the 30 knot winds that Biscay is currently giving us. We are motoring our way down, the wind direction not good for our square sails. Hopefully, the forecast will hold true and we can get some sailing done later today when the wind veers to a more suitable direction. Despite the wind and occasional showers, it’s quite warm with some sunny spells. Life on board continues at its usual pace, with everyone settled into the watch routine. There are a couple of voyage crew suffering mal de mare, but by and large we all have our sea legs now. On other news, we have a new game called Breakfast Lotto, where we try and guess the full breakfast choice for the day. No prizes, just kudos of getting it right, which we did today!
Back to lookout duties now!
Aft Port Watch Craig W/L, Steve H, Nigel, Richard, Andrew, Rosemary and Fran.