Less wind, less comfortable!
5 June 2008 19:40UTC 39'19N 069'01W
As the wind eased, we finally hoisted more sail, and more, and more until we had a fabulous three or four hours at top speed in decreasing seas. Eventually, a bank of cloud appears ahead of us. This is the cold front - the boundary between warm and cold air in the depression. This has turned out to be a little low pressure system right out of a meterology text book. We have been through the windiest, south-west quadrant, then almost through the centre with lighter winds, and now the front. A front usually carries a band of rain then a fifty to sixty degree windshift and much colder airflow.
Which is exactly what we got, and we were able to head almost right for our next waypoint, just off Cape Cod. The seas were still following us, giving a smooth ride and the wind was slightly ahead, keeping things fast. Sadly the air was ten degrees colder (I could see my breath!) and we were shrouded in fog, but this is the north atlantic.
It really does seem like the North Atlantic of the movies, grey rolling waves with icy whitecaps and endless low cloud. I half expect to see a periscope following me, and an iceberg loom out of the fog before the torpedos come streaming in.
Right now the wind continues to clock around to the north and towards the north east, which will push us away from our target, but we will choose a time to tack back during the night. We are 'hard on the wind' which means that the sails are in as tight as we can, the boat is heeled over and the motion is uncomfortable as we punch through the waves. Whilst everyone got some good rest during the smoother parts of the day, there is a feeling of fatigue over the crew who would rather be broad reaching in warm sunshine, or even sitting in Boston Harbour with a pint of Sam Adams!
For me, this is the sort of sailing I grew up with, racing in Britain's cold and rough north sea, so it feels something like a homecoming. Once the family come back aboard we'll have to pick our days carefully to avoid being out in this sort of weather.
Time to go listen to Herb again. The guy is amazing, he said we'd exit the Gulf Stream at 38'40N and we actually did so just two miles after that, unbelievable.
Anyway, all's well, N.
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