FROM 1-18. Betwixt Madeira and Morocco

Aug 21, 2005 – 0515hrs UTC

0515hrs 21 Aug 2005 UTC 48’49”N 006’47”W Ref 302

The first of many dawns, from cherry pink to fiery gold to silver grey and then the clouds to the west change from brooding shadows to snowy peaks that turn pink as the rising sun catches them… But anyone who sees romance in this hasn’t done it too often – experienced the gravel under the eyelids, the damp and condensation, the fickle wind – blah blah

We are 70 miles WNW of Ushant (L’Ile de Ouessant for the Bretons) in a slow rolling swell that would be glassy if it had abated a bit – no wind – not just a faint breeze, no wind. We are burning some precious diesel just to keep the average going and the boat reasonably comfortable but only getting 2.6 over the ground for an indicated 4.2 thro the water on the log. GPS distance 107 miles so still 13 to go before 0900 (start time yesterday was 1010 local). We’re starting to wind in our bit of string from the way up – Orion rose in the east a few hours ago and the Azores are out there somewhere in front.

A fishing vessel away on our starboard quarter, has been there for hours, occasionally shines a very bright light.

The grib  says more of this for the rest of the day then it will fill in again from the N or NW for a couple of days. This agrees with the EGC forecast from SatComC.

And, 70 miles out to sea, with the gradient (non)wind from the NW, we were visited by an insect – about 2 cm long – that flew around the stern in the silver light – what language would it speak? Breton? Gaelic? Icelandic? Inuit? Canadian?

Will wake Pete in half an hour and have a Berri breakfast – for the uninitiated, a Consultation while holding a bacon sando laced with a gallon or so of Tabasco. Then I’ve got to sort through the mess and find my bags of clothes and find beanies and neckies – it’s cold out there, but getting warmer.

0532 Just stuck my head up to look for ships – the sun has just risen and the clouds to the west are coppery coloured and reflecting on the water – odd – never seen that before. How sweet to be a cloud, floating in the blue…Tiddley pom. But I havent got Pooh’s balloon.

My life in review – I think this has been my 9th Channel crossing by boat of some sort.

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