17 May 2021
Dear all
It's a week now since we set sail from Tazacorte, La Palma bound for England. Rosalba has sailed about 1500 nautical miles in a variety of conditions, no wind initially as we left, necessitating a few hours motoring, before a light wind filled in from the west. By the morning after leaving we had tacked to port and have had the wind on that side of the boat since. Always with some wind we have been able to sail and make progress, sometimes in as little as six knots of wind other times in squalls of thirty knots, often of course coming through in the middle of the night. Aeolius has kept us on our toes! Full mainsail down to the third reef and alternating between the Jib Top and smaller J2 headsail. Maximum sail area being almost three hundred square metres down to less than half that in the stronger winds. Frank and I have worked hard on the grinder pedestal winding up and down the sails.

The wind is up again this Friday afternoon, the blue skies of earlier days replaced with the grey clouds and sea of a depression approaching the English Channel from the west, bringing drizzle and south westerly winds,strong at times, to blow us home. 

In a few hours we should approach the Isle d'Ouessant or Ushant, the most westerly headland of France. If all goes well we should then be approaching Hamble our destination on Sunday morning.

For many days it seemed that we would not receive a  visit from our friends the dolphins, with just the odd sighting made. However, yesterday afternoon a school of ten swam round and with the boat, playing in the waves.Truly,a joy.

Best to you all from Richard & Frank.