Position 37 45 N 67 58 W
Course 345 degrees
Speed 6.2 knots
Wind South 18 knots
Distance in 24 hours - 158 miles
Yesterday turned out to be a glorious day sailing, with slightly stronger winds than we had expected that stayed with us until just before dark, when it eased off and we furled the genoa and stowed the pole; just leaving the mainsail set on it's preventer line. We were expecting any new wind to come from a more westerly direction so wouldn't need the pole. We had a fabulous roast lamb dinner, nice and early then got organised for our night entry of the Gulf Stream…..
So far we have made a faster passage than Andrew had planned for, which has been great and right now we should be clear of the Gulf Stream in the next hour or so. We have not had any squalls yet and the wind has steadily built as expected. I was on watch as we entered the Gulf Stream at about 2am and only noticed a gradual change in our course over the ground over the first hour before I ducked off for a 'quick nap', waking up at 7.30 this morning!
By the time I woke we were right in the middle and had a 'set drift' to the East of about 4 knots - that's mostly current with a bit of leeway too. With full sails, 15 knots of wind and the engine to help we were making mostly due north around 5 knots, on our fixed heading of 340 degrees. The sea was confused; but not too bad and it was mainly sunny with a few clouds. We sat in the cockpit and had a coffee admiring the ocean - then we spotted an 11m yacht Prarie Gold just ahead of us on a slightly different course making around 3 knots - I guess they were not using their engine, plus they're a bit smaller than us.
Andrew went off for a sleep and the sea picked up for about an hour to be quite ugly - a bit like our Atlantic Crossing but woooshing at us from all directions. At this time the water temp had increased to 28.1 degrees (from around 25) and our set drift was a huge 4.7 knots - I was sure we were heading to Ireland. I popped inside to grab my life jacket as I felt a bit nervous and spotted our first dolphin of this trip swimming alongside the boat through the window in the side of the hull- YAY! When I see dolphins I just know everything will be okay. I also noticed that Prarie Gold had put up their Spinnaker - seriously I must stop being such a scaredy one, holding on with white knuckles….. So I manned up and made us bacon sandwiches when Andrew woke!
Over the next few hours the water temperature gradually eased and slowly but surely our course came around more and more and we look set to exit the Gulf Steam within half a mile of where Andrew put our waypoint before we left Bermuda. That's without having altered our heading all night - he's a pretty amazing navigator!! Our set drift is now only 2 knots and the water is a chilly 24.9 degrees C. I will be so pleased to have that stretch of water behind us.
273 miles to Newport, RI.
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