November 9th 2020

Hello everyone

 

Thanks for all the messages of support as I set off. The Royal Western yacht club gave me a great send off with tenders and yachts. Tim Rogers, who has helped so much in preparing the boat at every stage, was on board with me as we left the marina, and kindly took this picture as I set off on my own. The start was blue sky, light wind and quiet sea, and by the afternoon, I was sipping a cup of tea and eating a slice of very tasty fruit cake. By the time I was west of Ushant, though, the wind had picked up to between 23 and 29 knots, with a biggish sea, and I reefed twice during the night (wind gusting to 34kt). Muscular conditions for the day that followed. In answer to those who wondered why I went west and then south, I was making my way round the top of a low that had formed off the Spanish coast (the winds would have been far higher had I gone straight south). Even so, the winds were above 30kt with breaking waves - not pleasant, but a good test of the boat and me for the south. Just bananas, fruit bars and sour dough bread for much of that day, but I've now had some good hot meals (ready meals of spag bol and chilli con carne - you just add hot water and wait ten minutes). Wind abated Friday evening and I had the jib top unfurled. Since then, it has taken ages and several tacks to escape the southern section of the low (hence my zig zag course on the tracker) - the wind very light and variable with heavy rain. A new breeze from the south enabled me to get west and pick up the north west wind on the far side of the low. Wind went up to 28 kt and I needed a first then second reef, but wind now down to 18kt. All going well. Not managed a film night yet but looking forward to it when conditions are smoother!  Love to all. R