It's good to be underway and heading for the starting line, though it took a little adjusting. I got beat up this morning as the wind piped back up into the mid-30s w/ gusts into the 40s shortly after entering the Canal de Sao Jorge which separates Faial and Pico from Sao Jorge. I got a brief respite in the lee of Sao Jorge but hit again between there and Graciosa, my last look at land for a while. These are a really beautiful set of islands. It's a shame to have to leave them after seeing so little of them.
My weather routing has me on a reach at about 60 degrees apparent which is pointing me about 25 degrees further north than if I tried to sail directly at Plymouth; a-ok by me as the sea state is still pretty brutal and at this angle it's easier to take the waves. That low hung around here for quite a while and it'll be some time before the seas calm down which spells a wet ride for me.
I'm taking it easy on the boat with a reef in the main and only half the jib out in 22 knots of breeze; still making 7 knots though. This is the basic forecast until Wednesday morning when I'll start to close in on the high that's slowing moving SE between me and Europe. Still a ways out so I'll be keeping a close eye on the weather and adjust my angle/timing accordingly. Thereafter, who knows. The GFS model is showing a front/low passing just north of there which could bring some stiff breeze but it's just too far out to bank on anything.
The sun came out a little this afternoon which was very exciting as it's been a while. The low that precipitated my departure delay kept me under cloudy skies for most of the week.