Day 4 in the Transat Race on the mighty Wizard: 1000nm down with 2089nm left to the finish.
The Gulfstream played a big role for the first few days as we hooked into a nice warm eddy and managed to get up to 3.4 knots of assistance. The other benefit of the warm water is that the wind is well mixed (ie solid), whereas in the cold water north of the stream, the wind is poorly mixed and you never seem to get the breeze forecasted by the GRIB files. For these few days, we had ideal Volvo 70 weather and managed some good miles. However a large high pressure system in the Eastern Atlantic is blocking and slowing the normal west to east movement of the pressure systems. We were forced to sail a zig-zag course as we sailed over the top of a slow moving small High, while those behind us, like Ageir, have been able to sail straight as they are sitting behind the system.
We had a small hiccup last night as we sailed through a large cloud line (my bad) and ended up getting stuck for a while, when the clouds unloaded in the early hours of the morning. We managed to extricate ourselves after a few hours and normal progress was resumed.
As I write this we are just passing the SE tip of the Point Alpha Ice box and have a clear run at the Lizard Gate (a line we have to pass through on the SW end of the UK which is the traditional finish of transatlantic races gone by) some 1927nm away. Looks like some great sailing for the next three days as we head NE in good running reaching conditions. We then have to figure out how to tackle the large High pressure blocking our way into the English Channel.
A rather large 100 footer has just popped up on the AIS doing 3 knots faster than us in our rear view mirror. It has been great to beat them to Point Alpha but waterline length has finally caught up to us. In a 10 day race Scallywag owes us around 44 hours so we are fine on handicap with them so far!
Breeze is heading and slowly building and there are some showers heading our way. Interesting times and great to have some competition around.
Cheers for now.