We are currently in position 35 03N 052 03W, saillng at 6 knots on a course of 140M. The wind is WSW at 14-18 knots with 1m sea and 1m swell. We are sailing under double-reefed main and double-furled yankee. Scattered cumulus increasing. Our day's run was 115nm, our DMG was 93nm and we have 1144nm to go.
Shortly after sending off yesterday's post the wind died altogether. We motored at 1600rpm doing about 4.5 knots across a glassed-out ocean. As soon as the ocean calms the Velella / Portugese Men-O-War set sail in amazing numbers. We motored for about 2 hours and then a light breeze - only 4-6 knots - came in. We had a very pleasant sail doing around 3.5 knots. Before shutting down the motor we ran at 2500 rpm for 15 minutes to give it a "blow out". We were doing 6.5 knots so the hull must be quite clean.
At 1800 the wind died again and we motored from then until 0500. Twas a very quiet night wind-wise but noisy otherwise. The batteries are fully charged which is about the only positive of having to motor. The half moon rose at about 0130 this morning and created a wonderful "stairway to the moon" across the glassed-out sea. The low swell produced the stairs. Spectacular.
Since 0500 the wind has been gradually building from the W. We reduced sail in stages and are now in our best downwind VMG mode of deeply reefed main with the yankee doing the work.
We expect the wind to build to around 25 knots later today and we'll catch the tail of a cold front from the big depression I described yesterday. After the front we should have N winds at around 20 knots which should give us good sailing tonight. Tomorrow they in turn are expected to fade away. The North Atlantic keeps one on one's toes!
Long range radio propagation continues to be excellent. We can hear Radio Australia for an hour or so in the evening. Later in the evening Radio New Zealand booms in for several hours. The BBC World Service is there too but I haven't yet found the optimal time for us. They are targeting Africa and their dinner (radio listening) time doesn't match our good propagation times.
Trust all's well where you are. Send news!