Friday, June 16 – 225 miles off the coast of Portugal 

Day 5 data at 8 AM…Engine hours: 4304.5

Fuel consumed yesterday: 122 gal., total leg fuel consumed: 488 gal.

Miles traveled yesterday: 179 nm, total leg miles traveled: 704 nm  

Weather: SW wind 20 – 25 kts., mostly cloudy, temp ~65 F degrees

Seas: N wind wave 5 – 7ft., NW swell 8 – 10 ft.

Barometer: 1006 mb, tending down

Water temperature:  66.4 F

0300 to 0600 watch

Almost spilled my coffee on the way up to the pilothouse, in spite of being really careful.  There’s a 3-foot gap from the stair railing to the fiddle (raised edge on a counter top) next to the door leading outside.  The boat lurched heavily as I reached to span the distance.  Luckily, we’ve got volcano-shaped cups to contain the ebony elixir.  It’s a crap-shot when tipping the cup for a drink, too.  Without extreme care, it’s a face-full instead of a sip.  

Guess what, it’s  rough!  It’s right on schedule and it’s going to get worse as the day progresses.  These are the northerlies blowing down the Spanish/Portuguese coast.  They’re not right on the nose, but close enough to be rambunctious.  Supposedly, they will diminish early on Saturday.  We’ve slowed by about a knot, partly due to impedance, partly due to reduced RPMs.  Silvio asked if we can make the turn to run more with the wind, but Bernie advised that we’d encounter shipping lanes that we want to stay out of as long as possible.

Dark-of-night radio chatter is waaaaay down on this leg.  Part of it is having only 3 boats, but it’s more than that.  I think we’re just talked out.  I got a call about our running lights (they’re OK), but it took 2 minutes, not plus another 18 of conversion to LEDs and/or banter.

We’ve crossed yet another time zone, so look at your Lisbon clock for our time; +1 UTC.  Gibraltar is +2.

Just before watch change, we altered course by 15 degrees to the south.  That smoothed things out, a little bit.  

Later

The day was pretty much the same as the night.  The winds came up some, but not a lot.  Everyone is staying put, trying to catch up on sleep that comes only in bits and pieces.  We’re like a pack of dogs where one might slowly slink around, just to find the best spot to curl up and go back to sleep.  This is no storm, just a good blow.  And we’re lucky that’s the case.

This short post reflects how little was accomplished.  Put up with it and sleep.  That’s it.

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