In News Archive by No Way Back0 Comments

Posted 21/04/2016 | Category ‹ ANTERIOR |

A particularly gruesome and extensive area of low pressure to the west has caused routing havoc for No Way Back (ND).

Pieter Heerema, on No Way Back; the first to have to contend with “the beast”, has been obliged to duck a good distance down south having arrived too late to be able take the risk of transiting across at his current latitude.

“I felt I had not enough time to “cross the highway” – see it as this: the lows come charging down a highway from the USA/Canada to Europe, like big angry monster trucks. If there is one close to you and you are just a bit too late to cross they will roll over you. Destremeau who was 400+nm behind was further down the highway which has turned into an advantage and a chance of crossing in time. This means potentially sailing a much shorter route AND reaching at high speed.

If he gets it wrong as I surely would have he gets the big winds and waves full on the nose. Also he will potentially be in trap between the low and the 43N line and that could be very bad. So he’s in with a good chance if he is quick enough…

Anyway I made a big move as you could see going (very) far south to avoid the nastiness of the more southerly low. It still means bashing upwind and upwave but better that in 15-20 knots wind than 35-40kn.

I have since sailing upwind since the Canaries 90% of the time or drifting all over the compass rose and it looks like most of the way from here to Newport will be upwind. And I tell you: these boats are not made for going upwind: super noisy, frighteningly rude and abrupt in their movements due to waves, wet……

I cannot heat water except when in very quiet circumstances due to a broken kettle (…yes yes also the low tech has its fair share of the dark and stinky stuff). Because of that there is no tea no coffee, but also no way to make the freeze dried food edible. As this crossing is taking so much time I am running out of food; certainly the hot meals. Water is ok, I took enough.

Erstwhile: I still like myself, although you wouldn’t say so if you sometimes hear me scream in rage when the alter ego has done something stupid. What I do get mad about is the movement and sounds… and not yet halfway.

Another thing that drives me nuts is the torturous 20-second alarm beeps of the autopilot, imagine for days on end, every 20 secs. Goodness only knows what it would be like with a spinnaker – but then: any chance of spinnakering?!

Follow the Calero Marinas Solo Transat via the Yellow Brick tracking service

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