Sunday, 8 May 2016

Bermuda Inbound - Day 5

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 30 18N 064 12W, saillng at 5 knots on a course of 350M. The wind is WSW at 20-25 knots with 1.5m sea and 2.5m SSE swell.  We are sailing under double-furled yankee alone.  Completely overcast of very low cloud with persistent rain.  Tis a grey, wet day.  Our day's run was 130nm, our DMG was 121m and we have 127nm to go.

Cold Front Passage

Over the last 24 hours we've had two "fronts" pass.  Whether these were really fronts is unclear but they looked and felt like fronts.  A progression of increased southerly; heavy rain; wind veers to the west, wind and rain slowly moderate.

The first was at 1500 yesterday afternoon.  I don't know why I bothered donning wet-weather gear since after 5 minutes I was drenched.  Should have taken some soap out there with me.  Anyway, we got the main down and gybed the boat towards Bermuda.  The wind and rain gradually moderated.

We rehoisted the main at 1800 when the wind lightened and the rain briefly stopped.  That got us moving nicely after several hours of sailing slowly through the rain.  Visibility is reduced to a few hundred metres in the rain so we're very glad there's little traffic around.  We haven't seen (visually or on AIS) anyone for several days.  The showers persisted all night under a totally overcast sky with wnids of 20-25 knots.

At 0900 this morning we had the second front.  This time I was slightly better prepared and got the job done more rapidly.  Release main halyard; swap tethers and proceed forward; pull main down; secure it with one sail tie; move back aft; gybe the boat; back down below to a hot cuppa.  Only half drenched!

The rain is persisting this morning as the photo hopefully shows.  Unlike yesterday afternoon the wind is staying in the WSW so we hope this was the real front.  The WSW wind makes it a reach to Bermuda which means the dodger keeps the rain away from the companionway.  We had a real "fug" below last night with the companionway closed due to the rain and wet clothes steaming away.

Last night we chatted with the other boats on the SSB.  All of them are European and some commented "Welcome to the North Atlantic - get used to this weather"!  At least it's 25C!!!

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