February 1, 2010
Lat 39°44’ North Long 11°26’ West
We continue our trek south to Madeira and possibly even further than that before we get the tradewinds that will make our trip across the Atlantic manageable. How strange that we are pointed right at my home in Charleston right now - so tempting - but we are soon to gybe to port and head on down the rocky and forbidding coast of Portugal.
The good news is that I think we are through the roughest of the North Atlantic winter weather. Thankfully, today was a bit dryer and we took the opportunity to dry out a bit (both our gear and bodies). One thing to never forget in this part of the world: The Bay of Biscay SUCKS this time of year!
We are currently sailing at 10.5-11 knots with the Code 5 and mainsail up with the wind at about 15 knots from the North-Northeast. The crew is all well and we checked in with Ken Campbell from Commander's Weather today on weather expectations. He is a great guy and always an excellent resource in addition to the data we have onboard.
This is no doubt going to be a long trip. I talked with my 7 year-old daughter Tate today just as she was getting out of school. She is already anxious for my return, and my heartstrings get tense when I hear her ask “how many more days?” It is tough to think about the moments I will miss in her young life and that of her brother Wyatt (5), while I am at sea. They will be on my mind often and in my heart always.
Thanks for reading these reports and for sending them on to your friends - we've got a long road ahead of us and hopefully you will enjoy the ride.
Back on deck now for the gybe!