We found wind, sun and lots of oil

What a day!
After some early morning fog we had lots of blue sky. The breeze filled in from the south as predicted, providing perfect broad reaching conditions all day (and night long).
With almost flat seas and about 10 kn we zig-zagged around many, many oil platforms. At any given time we could see about a handful of them.
We received our first friendly courtesy call in the morning from one of the larger platforms making sure we had them on our radar screen and keeping a distance of at least 500m.
Later on we received a safety warning because a larger ship towing an 8 mile cable to the south of us. Good to have AIS and DSC radio on…

With the southerly wind stabilized, we knew we would sail like this all the way to Scotland and therefore not have to use the engine again. We therefore cleaned up the Diesel mess in the engine room and enjoyed the rest of the day. Dark German bread for lunch and a very nice Indian curry made for a happy crew.
We rigged the Aries windvane with Peter’s larger vane, but could still not make it work.

A pod of larger dolphins put a nice touch to the perfect sunset and rounded off the day.

The wind is supposed to increase to 19kn throughout this morning, pushing us to Inverness, where we hope to arrive in the later afternoon. We see lightning on the horizon and are expecting rain from 14:00 onwards, but so far so good.

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Looking for wind

It was a delicate balance; had we left early, we would have sailed into a gale, leaving yesterday would have meant that there would have been sufficient wind but straight on the nose (resulting in a very low speed towards Scotland), leaving tomorrow would have increased the southerly wind (which is good) but we would not have reached the other side before the +40kn winds would have made our sail a little more adventurous than we need with our new mast and crew…
That’s why we left on Monday, hoping that the predicted low winds (around 8kn) would materialize. While we have found some breeze here and there, we were forced to run the engine most the time. Given the noise, cost, lack of sailing clearly not our preferred way forward on any day. With the diesel leaking out of the injector we are this time more than ever hoping to find wind. We had followed Bob’s advice (Hansen Marine) and bought diapers to absorb the diesel (it absorbs the diesel better than the paper towels we used before and with that limits the diesel evaporation), but we can’t wait to get this fixed.
Hopefully Dan has received the spare parts by now and we will get this replaced when he arrives in Scotland.

As the temperature went up throughout the day (to about 16-18C) we performed more general maintenance, put whippings on a number of worn out ropes, watched Nick’s amazing splicing skills (we are redesigning the attachment to the hydro generator) and had more good food.

When the captain pulled out the watch schedule to prepare the crew for the night watches, our new crew members realized that maybe a little more sleep earlier in the day would have been a good choice 😉

We see a freighter or fishing vessel here and there on the AIS and so far only one oil platform on the horizon. A very easy night watch, especially given the very long daylight (at 23:00 we have almost regular daylight still and even now at 2:00 the visibility without moonlight is not too bad).

Now send us a few more knots from the S, please….