15 May 2019 – Passage from the Azores to Gosport, Day 9


May 15th, 2019


North Atlantic 2017 – 2019, Ocean passages

Written by

Richard Farrington

No comments
By Richard. Posted on May 15th, 2019 in North Atlantic 2017 – 2019, Ocean passages.

49:43N 006:23W

We are ten miles south of the Scilly Isles heading in towards Mounts Bay and Penzance and have around 70 miles to run to Falmouth where I intend to stop for a few hours.  Escapade has sailed 3850 miles since leaving Jolly Harbour in Antigua on 13 April.  Five of the nine days on this leg have been closed hauled on starboard tack in moderate to rough seas and both boat and crew need a little respite.

The strong winds of the last few days have abated a little and we have had a steady easterly Force 5 for the last 24 hours.  The forecast is for more of the same… isn’t it always the case?  We seem to have bucked the trend for weather right the way across the Atlantic: first, the Azores High turned into a west-moving Azores Low, and since Horta the prevailing south westerly winds have blown exclusively for us from the east or south east!  Perhaps Aeolus is trying to tell me we should have stayed in the Caribbean?

The jury-rigged genoa furling line is performing well, but I need to change it over when we find some calmer waters in the glorious harbour at Falmouth.  We also need to transfer the fuel from the jerrycans into the tank without pouring half the North Atlantic in there with it.  We can also top up, for what looks like a bit of a slog eastwards to Gosport and we can clear Customs there too.  Our RNSA burgee and Q Flag are flying if those awfully nice chaps from the Border Agency come out to see us – although I suspect it’s too rough for them!

Otherwise all is well.  It’s quite chilly at night, but we are all excited to be making a landfall later today.  The density of traffic has increased markedly – a mix of tanker traffic and big fishing vessels.  We had a fantastic air display yesterday afternoon from a group of four Northern Gannets, flying close to the boat and doing some diving training for a juvenile.  Fortunately the sun is shining and we have a bright moon at night – Dave saw some spectacular meteor showers – I think if it were raining as well as blowing and bouncing us around, life might have been quite miserable!

As it is, morale is high.  I’m looking forward to a pint and a pasty at the Chain Locker.  Also to stopping the drip from the starboard saloon window onto my bunk… but as this is the only (very minor) defect we have at the moment, we are very lucky!

Richard, Dave and Peter