Thursday, July 5, 2012

Azores to Ireland - Day 3

Noon Position 051200 JUL 12
N 39 52
W 022 53
Distance Traveled 320 NM
Average Speed 4.7 Knts
120 NM last 24 hours
927 NM to Kinsale
65 NM Made Good on Track

1. A quiet but frustrating 24 hours. Am sailing "0 points free" and am now 137 NM East of the great circle route. Winds have averaged force 2 to 3 which has prevented me from sailing in a more northerly direction. Note that my current position is actually south of my noon position yesterday. Forecast for this evening is for the winds to back. If so I will be able to regain some distance North. The up side of light winds and seas is a pleasant ride.
2. I love my Monitor wind steering device for this kind of situation. As the wind shifts the Monitor follows the apparent wind. It prevents me from either stalling (in irons) or not taking advantage of staying as close hauled as possible while not loosing speed. The Autohelm autopilot has a wind steering mode but for NMEA 2000 vs NMEA 0183 reasons it is not functional on Reboot. This is not a major drawback as the Autohelm requires you to confirm any course change of 5 degrees or more. Out here that is about every 60 seconds due to wave action.
3. XO has become my good buddy in spades. Every time I try to do any activity he jumps up in the way and demands attention. It takes a few times putting him in my lap before he gets the picture and moves on. I can't complain, he is also my bunk buddy. Air temperatures at night are about 60 F so having a furry hot water bottle on my chest is a good thing.
4. Downloading the German weather fax broadcasts has become pretty easy. The signals are strong enough that I get pretty good quality. On the other hand I am still finding it difficult to find WINLINK connections (that is what I send this message with.) The good news is that Fred (W3ZU) and Bill (KI4MMZ) still talk to me each evening with the updated weather forecasts.
5. Did have a close (warned by AIS, managed by radio) encounter with the Frontier Island cargo ship last night. We passed about 1.9 NM apart. It still amazes me that in the middle of the ocean my track and that of another ship can pass so closely.

Fair winds and following seas

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Underway

Underway to Beltung. 548 nm. 5 to 6 days or more dependent upon wind. 1 POB + 1 Cat Fair winds and following seas :)