Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chasing Puffs

Light and variable winds will dominate the race course until about 0800 UTC tomorrow when a beautiful NNE breeze will fill in across the race course and carry me to the finish. Yeeeeeeeehaw! In the meantime, I'm working hard to make progress through the light stuff. I'm catching some decent puffs that are sticking around for a while - some consistent forward motion so far, though not always in the right direction.

I found an interesting current feature that helped me out a lot earlier this morning. As the detrimental tidal current was filling in the Gulf of Maine via the Great South Channel, the northwest edge of George's Bank was like a back water zone - it was flowing counter to the main body of water in the channel. I've seen this effect in rivers, particularly at a bend but never really thought about the effect in the ocean. The wind didn't cooperate for me to spend too much time over there but if you find 0.5 knots of favorable current when you expected to find 2 knots unfavorable, it's cause for celebration. I broke out one of Andrea's Sardegna mineral water bottles labeled "Frizzante" and pretended it was champagne.

My routing software predicts Jeroboam's finish tomorrow night which would be fantastic. As long as I can make some reasonable progress in the light air today and tonight, and the NE breeze actually does arrive in the morning, tomorrow night sounds about right. It's always a bit frustrating at the end of a long race getting hit with light wind but with the promise of 20 out of the NNE tomorrow, I can suffer through it.

I'm glad to be away from George's Bank. The fog was scary thick last night and there were tons of fishing boats around. Since my radar is out of commission, and only 2 of the ~20 fishing boats I came across had AIS, there was no rest to be had. Thankfully the temperature was fairly mild last night although it was wet on deck from the fog. As soon as I was off the bank and the fog lifted this morning, I grabbed a couple rapid fire naps.

It's a really nice day out here with fairly clear skies and sunshine. I just need a little more wind to wrap up this race. Homeward bound!

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