Noon position 04/08 42 degrees 9 minutes north, 27 degrees 24 minutes west
Noon position 05/08 42 degrees 38 minutes north, 25 degrees 54 minutes west
Noon position 06/08 43 degrees 3 minutes north, 25 degrees 43 minutes west

I made very good progress during the first couple of days and nights, and indeed had a nice wind for longer than I’d expected to.

Since then, progress has been rather slower, with occasional regress. It’s not too uncomfortable, but the noise and feeling of the boat rolling around in the waves without any wind to steady her is extremely irritating at times.

I think last night was the low point so far. It had been a slow day with a lot of shifts in the wind, but it was forecast to steady and increase overnight. I’d just got everything settled, set less sail in anticipation, read up on my weather books which suggested conditions agreed with the forecast wind direction and change, had dinner and washed up and felt vindicated by the wind getting up.

So I was about to go to bed very contentedly when I noticed the motion of the boat had suddenly got a lot worse . At this point I found the wind had switched around completely and was sending us back south towards Madeira. The frustration I felt is hard to describe, but it did lessen once I got Maid sailing in a slightly better direction (the wind was light and coming from where I wanted to go, so there wasn’t really a good option..). It’s not good for sleep to always be wondering if you’re sailing in the right direction though.

Admittedly that issue was cleared up this morning by the certainty of drifting very slowly in the wrong direction, though I’m doing a little better at the moment.

I have been getting a fair few useful jobs done – restowing the anchor down below so there’s not a 20 kilo weight high up at the very front of the boat, and making some wooden covers and using sealant to block up the chain pipes and stop water getting down into the chain lockers, and some general tidying and cleaning.

I saw a couple of dolphins this morning as well : ) And I did have another avian visitor (the rather less loquacious Cheep), though I don’t think he stuck around for long. And there should be stronger winds to come.. possibly stronger than I’d like – we’ll see.. It’ll be a change at least, and much quicker!

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