Tuesday at sea

Its June 1st. This side of the pond that means today is the official start of the hurricane season and we are quite pleased to be heading NE. For the past 3 weeks a series of hot wet nasty tempered little lows have been spinning off the western Caribbean and heading North and the local newscasts have been full of predictions of a particularly virulent hurricane season due to the higher than average sea temperatures. These lows can feed off the convective forces generated by hot seas and turn into tropical depressions and eventually hurricanes. The really nasty ones come later in the season and originate over by Africa , but quite honestly we don’t even want to mess with a nice , well mannered hurricane thank you very much!

The water hereabouts is nearly 10 degrees cooler than Antigua , and its getting so we have to dress warmly at night. I had never regarded this as an advantage before – but you live and learn!

We hitched a ride on our first low yesterday , and now have been engulfed by a small ridge of high pressure so are motoring NE to catch the second one. We reckon we have enough fuel for 90 hours of slow motoring and normally would like to save this in case the Azores high blocks our final approach. However it is pushing westwards at the moment so we think its worth investing a bit of our hydrocarbon so as not to get trapped early on. We have linked up with a boat load of Vikings on Fai da Te ( Italian for “do it yourself”) and a Dutch yacht called Zwit. Both of them are further East and South of us. They either pushed harder when it blew ( we as usual were v conservative) , or used their engines more initially , and it will be interesting if our more northerly route pays off. Theoretically it should , provided we don’t get a pasting from the lows. These are big , well behaved northern hemisphere lows that are relatively predictable compared with their volatile tropical cousins , but we will still treat them with respect.

Lynda visited a book swap before we left and came back with a book about the wreck of the whaling ship Essex ( I think they ate the cabin boy ) and another about a man who did what we are doing in the 60’s , but singlehanded in a 24 footer without self steering , and by the sound of it , badly controlled diabetes. He nearly died on about 100 different occasions and had to deal with would be assassins , crooks , sharks , hurricanes and most of all the effects of huge quantities of rum. Do you think she was trying to make a point?

Anyhow at present the boat is steering itself quietly past 34 07N 60 21W , and apart from an argument as which of us is the cabin boy , all is well on board

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