5 December 2013

Last night the sun sank into a glassy ocean with us sitting in a circle of calm. I sat on deck looking for a chance to set sails again but it wasn’t happening. The layered stratus clouds near the west horizon and the smudges of other clouds a little higher up were purple in the final rays of the sun. From behind one of the smudges a toenail moon began to appear and it was good to see the moon beginning to grow again.

About an hour after sunset I was able to set sails again. It was just a whisper of wind and the sails were slapping pretty frequently but we were moving. The wind held mostly all night although it was very light at times. At 0300 I had to take the main down as the rattle of the slides in the boom told me it was doing more harm than good to keep it set.

At daybreak I got the cruising chute up and we trundled along at a snails pace. By 1030 however we got a bonus. The wind suddenly increased to about a F3 from the NNW and when I got the main up we were making 4-5kts. This was more like it! About the same time I saw a sail astern of us and the AIS told me it was a yacht called “Phoenix of London”. The wind didn’t last however but we got an hour or so before it faded away again.

Phoenix called me up on VHF. There were three guys onboard, Sasha, Antonio and Ricardo. They were from Lanzarote and were delivering this yacht to the Cape Verdes for the owner to take on to the Caribbean. They were complaining too about the lack of wind and had the motor going to keep up the delivery schedule. They were very friendly and I asked if they would do me a favour and take a photo as they went past and email it to Alyson. “No problem” they said, they would be glad to.

They came close by as they passed and were as good as their word and clicked off a few shots as they went by. We had a chat and a laugh and wished each other all the best. They should be in the Cape Verde’s in a couple of days so you may see a photo up here then. A Cruise ship called “Silver Wind”, which was close behind Phoenix, altered course at the same time to pass close by as well.

Other than that it’s been a very quiet day. I baked another tray bake/slice thing and enjoyed that with a cup of tea on deck for elevenses.

The radio schedules with the local Shetland Radio club have been very mixed. Sometimes the signal has been good but mainly it has been pretty poor and difficult to make out. It’s the same with sending these reports back. Because it is radio based it often doesn’t go through first time and I have to wait till evening or early morning before trying again.

Sasha said the wind was going to change tonight or tomorrow for the better and I might have a N’ly F3. Lets hope he’s right.

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