Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Atlantic Crossing 2nd Leg Day 3 - Azores High

Devotees of the Weather Channel may have heard of the Azores high. Its position strongly influences the weather along the Atlantic coast of Europe and into the English Channel. In the summer when the high moves north, summer is generally fair where we're going. Unfortunately, to get to where we're going, we have to get past the Azores high. Highs mean calm to light wind, and since we pretty close to the center of the high, that's what we have now, have had for the past 24 hours, and probably will have for the next 24. So we've been motoring the majority of the past day. We're trying to get north of the high so that we can catch the westerlies.

During the first leg of the crossing, when winds were light we drifted. Then we knew if we waited, the weather would change. This is different. Although it moves around a little, the Azores high is fairly settled this time of year, so it's going to be in our way eventually, and we might as well get past it sooner rather than later.

All is well aboard Solstice. Motoring means lots of hot water and electricity. Night watches are easy because we can leave the radar on all the time. We physically look around for lights on a regular basis, but otherwise we can stay comfortable in the cabin. At this latitude, the cabin is more comfortable than the cockpit at night.

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