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Taking out Madeiran citizenship any day now . . .

Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 11:44 am
by Nick
Not ever getting away . . .

We look at a five day weather period and say 'no, that's a bit rubbish'

Then three or four days later we look again and say 'Hmmm . . . that's worse . . . should have gone three or four days ago . . . '

Sun/Mon are looking good for leaving here, but then everything is going NW and W nearer the Azores as a couple of depressions dip down on their way past - meaning we would be battling 15-20 knot headwinds for perhaps several days trying to get into Santa Maria.

So it seems daft to leave knowing that lies ahead - why not wait for a clear five day window? Either NE - NNE - N winds or much lighter headwinds. Or is there no such thing at this time of year? Five or six days is a tricky period when you are crossing from one weather system to another - in may ways life was simpler when there was less weather info and you just went and took what came.

Friends (Nano, 42ft Jeanneau) that we met in Portugal are on their way back five days out from Bermuda just now, hoping to be in Corvo 4th June and on to Horta a few days later. We are hoping to meet them. I have just been looking at the weather they are gettng and can expect, and they are going to have to surf some nasty little depressions before they get in. Everyone I have read says the direct route Bermuda to Azores has PLENTY of wind these days - no need to go further N looking for it.

The 2007 AZAB :sailing: leaves Falmouth 2nd June heading for Ponta Delgada - looks like there is a chance they will be there before us. I guess the marina there will be pretty full . . . start of the return leg is the 19th.

It pi**ed with rain :umbrella: for several hours this morning . . . and we had left our shoes in the cockpit, amongst other things. Temperature about 16 deg. Sometimes I just wish we could wave a wand and the boat was back in Balvicar and us up the T&T . . .

Oh well, another look at the weather tomorrow . . .

Update - maybe away Monday

Posted: Sat May 26, 2007 2:27 pm
by Nick
It was looking reasonable for leaving tomorrow (Sunday) but I got talking to the very nice man who runs the chandlers here about our VHF problem and it turns out he has a man who is a whiz with VHF who can be here Monday morning.

So - it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up. Hopefully the window of relative Azorean tranquility will remain open a day or so longer and we will get away Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning, either with a fixed VHF or at least knowing what the problem is . . .

Weather watching continues, VHF saga temporarily halted . .

Posted: Mon May 28, 2007 10:26 am
by Nick
Well, we have now cancelled our visit by a local VHF expert as yesterday I discovered loads of water in the deck connector for the VHF aerial at the foot of the mast. Dried it out and re-made the connection and the VHF is sound as a pound . . . BUT . . . still total interference when the LED tricolour is on . . . so I went up the mast and replaced it with the old bulb. Still hoping to hear something from Ultraleds or get a suggestion on supresing it from an electrical wiz (DaveS where are you?)

The deep (980) low swirling past the Azores next weekend with a tail of strong S-Westerlies extending down over the last fifty to a hundred miles of our route over the weekend has been moderated by the latest GRIBs, and isn't looking as dangerous as it did. If we arrive Sat or Sun the worst we should get is F6 SW on the final run in, but with a large (3m+) swell from the NW so pretty unpleasant sea conditions possibly.

This morning's thought is that Sunday is the day to arrive - but with calms or light headwinds between us and there it will take us six or seven days to get there even if we use the engine quite a lot. We are going to look at the latest updates this afternoon, and probably go early tomorrow morning rather than today . . . just to give us time to get our heads into seagoing mode.

Maybe all this caution is madness and I should have dug those bravery pills out of the medical kit . . . lots of cruisers say 'We are leaving A on this date to go to B' and they stick to it, accepting whatever weather they get. I say good on them, but if we have this information, time and no wish to don a hair shirt then why not wait?

On the other hand, it is strange how a big swirly red and purple graphic representation of an interpreted computer model of something that won't happen for five days or maybe never can make you feel physically sick when you look at it and imagine yourself there in your little boat . . .

Watch out for Silkie's on passage thread when we leave - will try to update him every day.

Off tomorrow morning

Posted: Mon May 28, 2007 6:35 pm
by Nick
Pleasant day today getting some little jobs done on the boat and basking in some decent sunshine for a change.