I'm off. I left Cowes this morning at 4.

I'm off.
I left Cowes this morning at 4.15 and two hours later i'm clearing the Needles.
The tide is with me and we're moving very fast in a brisk 25 knots of wind. The wind is set to increase later so i'm not sure if i'll stop go dartmouth or press on, we'll see.
Well, finally we're off.

Ready to go

I spent the weekend doing the last few odd jobs on the boat and had a chance to go out and take a few picures in the Solent, at 30+ knots I had 3 reefs in the main and the number 4 rather than a nice colourful kite but it was a nice chance to check that all the heavy weather gear was in order before setting off for the bluQube Solo 1000... Wednesday I'll leave Cowes heading for Mylor and I'm feeling ready to go.


British Beagle

Cape Horn gale: we'll wait for the worst to go through

A nasty gale is brewing south of us, the worst of it is headed straight
for Cape Horn just at the same time we were due to round the infamous
cape. After much debate we decided it was simply too risky for us to carry
on heading for such a dangerous randez-vous and have instead slowed down
and we'll let the worst of the gale blow through before resuming our
course with improving weather behind us rather than the risk of being
cornered in a lee shore in nasty waves forming on the continental shelf
and no where to run.

In 12 hours the centre of the low should be east of us and moving north
eastwards away from us. At this point it should be safe enough to resume
our course.

Cessna, the boat currently leading the race has decided to adopt a more
aggressive strategy and will try to outrun the depression, rounding Cape
Horn ahead of the worst of the storm. We considered this option but ruled
it out as we didn't think we could make it in time. We were in second
place with effectively little to lose by playing it safe as we certainly
were not going to overtake a faster boat in a storm.

Instead, we slowed down by reducing sail, we prepared the storm jib well
ahead of time, run the extra lines needed to use our special 4th reef and
are now just waiting for the wind to build, it should quickly strengthen
with the strongest due here in 12 hours and around Cape Horn in 18-24
hours, with enough room to run we'll head downwind and hopefully make the
ride safe with wind and waves reducing well ahead of our new expected time
of arrival at the horn.