AC Day 17: The turn NORTH

After staying on a easterly course for a couple of days this was the day to finally turn directly to Ireland again! We checked the weather one last time, and it looked like a perfect weather window to pass the area between the Azores and Ireland where basically all the low-pressure systems pass. We will sail just behind one low-pressure area, and it looks like the next low will have very manageable wind strengths. No biggie for Scehawk. After that all champagne sailing, please (make sure you note that, Neptune!).

After coffee we all got up, gybed, and off we went! The waves and wind increased throughout the day, but much less than we expected. We were all prepared for a week of storm, rain and cold salt spray, but it was quite sunny and we spent most of the day on deck reading books. Apart from one or two freak waves over the cockpit, it was all quite calm. We were sailing with both the headsail and the mainsail up, and doing a steady 7 knots over ground all the time. It was so smooth that we decided to keep the setup overnight, although we did expect stronger wind.

Martijn managed a beef stew in the very nautical conditions, although he had to come up for air a couple of times and was a bit pale around the nose. He took a sea sickness pill, and all was good. That stuff is amazing. 

Every day around dinner time, we asses our progress of the past 24 hours. We note our position, log (miles through the water) and the distance left to (the yellow flashing buoy in front of) Cork. Our log through the water sometimes skips a shift, leaving out 20 miles here or there, but it is usually a nice comparison. Ben and I guessed a progress of 100 miles towards Cork, because we had only been doing a direct course for a couple of hours by then. But we were so wrong, it already started adding up to 137 nm! 

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We only have 1000 miles left to Cork, and it genuinely feels like we are almost there. We have been on the boat for over two weeks now, and one week more feels easy peasy. Making progress directly towards our goal is so much better than sailing around it in a big circle! We got information from Matenka on Cork, which got me overly excited about the city. It specified exactly where we can get our first pints, where to shower and what to order in the pub without insulting the locals. LETS GET THERE ALREADY!

Note that we are wearing foul weather gear now, circumstances get more and more nautical

The night was very bumpy, I spent a great deal of the night standing up against the wall instead of lying down in bed. If the waves are that big, your body can’t relax and definitely can’t sleep because you need muscles to correct your movements all the time. In the front, it was extra bumpy. Around 3:00 I decided it had been enough, the wind was picking up even more and Helmut wasn’t keeping up. Thomas and I took down the main and restored gravity in the boat. And I finally got some sleep!

Position: 42 45 N 27 51 W

Miles of the day: 137

To go: 964 NM (WOOHOOOOOOO)

Highlight of the day: We turned NORTHEAST towards Ireland

Drama of the day: Circumstance get nautical

Food: leftover pizza for breakfast, freshly baked bread from Ben for lunch, beef stew with mashed potatoes for dinner.

Weather: increasing wind, 15 to 25, gusting into the 30s at night.

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