For the last five days, since we left the Greenland coast, we have been fighting strong southeasterly winds that made it impossible for us to sail our desired course to the Azores.
The main culprit is a stationary and very powerful high west of the British Isles, extending more than halfway across the North Atlantic, which has been acting as preventing surface lows from moving more west to east and generate more favorable wind direction. With the latest forecasts predicting the situation to continue for at least another four days, it would have taken us 14 days or more reach the Azores.
This morning I realized that Mother Nature has been trying to tell me something for the last few days, but I didn’t understand. Suddenly I got the message: don’t fight me, you will not win. Do what you always claim to do: be flexible.
The decision was therefore taken to abandon our plan to sail to the Azores and on to the Canaries, but turn east for the UK. The wind will decide whether we make landfall in SS England, and sail to London from that direction, or arrive in Scotland. In the latter case the logical approach would be to reach The North Sea via the Caledonian Canal and get to London from the north.
I must admit that I never imagined that we would encounter less favourable sailing conditions in the North Atlantic than in the Northwest Passage. The only consolation is that the temperature is steadily going up and we are shedding, like onions, one layer of clothing every day.
There is in fact, another consolation: we haven’t seen any ice for the last three days…so let me finish by showing some of my favourite ice sculptures Mother Nature has created for us.