Tuesday, May 03, 2011

UK - France - Passage Day 7

Weather: Clouds seem to burn off early in the morning and the days and nights are warmer, so we are expecting another a fine day
today; yesterday we actually wore shorts.

Sailing conditions: More downwind and light sailing, again a bit more motoring yesterday, and seas relatively flat. A little
wing-on-wing with the screacher (our light wind sail) until the wind picks up too much. Not a great fast passage, but mostly easy.

General Comments: Although we are truly appreciating the warmer weather, and the bright sunshine of the day, we are already finding
mosquitoes in the boat by early evening. for the last two nights now! A killing patrol is in order, but I fear we are already
losing the battle; who knows what they will be like once we are actually within sight of land!

The past few nights the bioluminescence trailing off the back of each hull make the boat seem like a pair of rocket ships blasting
through the night waters, it's magical to watch and I hope the millions of creatures we have disturbed forgive us for ploughing
through their waters; they put on a great show. [Kyle] It's not just the boat wake that lights up the seas. What in the day time
are white caps, at night become self laminating flashes for the same reasons, watching the sea is as romantic as watching the night

Kyle amazed me yesterday by telling me that we have now moved South enough to be at the same latitude as Portland, Oregon (where the
boat hails from). Portland for me always seems such a cold place (compared to France), and it is hard for me to remember that
Britain is on the same latitude as Siberia, given our relatively mild climate (thanks to the ocean currents).

We are nearly there of course, and now we are stalling at the entrance to the Gironde, waiting for slack water to sail up the river
on the flood (with the current); entering on the ebb is reported to be quite treacherous. So far even though we are only 8 or 10
miles from shore, it is too hazy to see land, so no comments yet on the beauties of France.

We are almost there but we'll still not be able to rest and celebrate since our first task will be to prepare the mast for removal
(remove the sails, disconnect all the rigging, no mean feat). We will also have to find officials for the legal procedures of
entering the country.

Food: Salad for Lunch, Pasta for dinner

Progress: Yesterday we made 88.16nm, So far on this trip we have travelled (through the water) 571nm, and have 45nm (routed line -
to Pauillac now, which includes 29 newly added nautical miles for the adjusted destination) to go.


Catriona said...

Well done to you both and bon courage for the next bit of preparation for what I hope will be a gorgeous trip and fantastic experience.
Kate (Cirrus Cat)

Chris said...

Glad you are having a relatively uneventful passage, but curious why you need to prepare the mast for removal...is that what you normally do?


SV-Footprint said...

Hi Chris.. No we don't normally take the mast off willy-nilly... In this case we want to take the short-cut through the French canals, and the bridges are too low for our mast (about 3.3m); so the mast just has to come down!

Kate - thanks as always for your good wishes and I hope you are enjoying your Scottish Island as the spring (and hints of summer) unfolds.