Day 5 of Leg 1, Sept 23rd 2015:
Last night we passed the northwestern tip of spain and are now on the way to the canary islands. There is one final TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme) lying west of the portuguese coast which is a forbidden zone for us in the race, other than that there are no other course marks before the finish.
During our weather briefings, our weather router Christian often emphasized how important the northern half of the portuguese coast is as there is a low-wind zone to navigate, as well as a large zone where a wind acceleration can be found.
This is especially true in a situation like ours with a well established acores high to our west whose southerly winds are being accelerated off the coast of the iberian peninsula (see map below. Note: ground pressure are the white isobars!)
This is a bit of weather knowledge that should become very important over the course of the day but unhappily the converse argument (the farther from the coast, the less wind you get) would not come to me while at sea.
You can tell by the little amount of log book entries that I hardly spent time below deck and hardly left the tiller alone.
Looking back today, I should not have gybed back towards the coast after taking down the Code5. This would have lead me away from the coast and reduced the wind, which would have allowed me to hoist the spinnaker again.
Instead I gybed again at 9pm, again 15 miles closer to the shore so it would take me more hours until I would eventually hoist a spinnaker again in the morning. Unhappily I was so tired that I kind of lost my racing mode which cost me a lot of miles.
Dimitri told me that some 20 miles further offshore the winds were little enough to keep the medium kite up at all times.
|N 10kt||1m||8/8 Sc||1021.0||N42°45.5 / W009°49.5||Main + Big Spi||209||8.8kt|
|NNW 15 (22)kn||3.5m||1/8 Cr/Ns||1019.3||N41°29.0 / W009°36.4||Groß(–) + Code5||164||8.5kn|
|NW 23 (34)kn||4m||4/8 Cn||1018.0||N40°28.9 / W009°58.9||Groß(–) + Solent(-)||154||8.1kn|
24h distance: 186sm
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