Day 1, Norway to Svalbard

0600Z 02JUL24, Day 1, Norway to Svalbard. It was a great month and a half in Norway and now it is time to continue north to find some cold and ice.

Current Position: 71 51N / 015 57E
24 hour progress: 140nm, 5.8kts avg SOG, approximately 305nm to Vestvika, Svalbard.

We got underway at 0800 local from a lovely anchorage in Slettnes. We motored out of the bay and clear of the islands and were sailing by 0915.

Our friends on L'Éléphant, a Boréal 47.2, started a bit after us and were anchored a little south of us. This gave us a 10nm head start to them. There is also a Belgian Garcia 63 OC called SAS3 who left just after Elephant.

We started sailing north on a close reach with 15-18kts of wind, 1 reef in the main and full genoa. The winds off of Norway picked up a bit and we soon added a 2nd reef. The winds were up over 20kts for about 2 hours. Just after noon local the winds were back down around 15kts and we shook out a reef, back to 1 reef in the main, full genoa and sailing close to the wind.

By the afternoon the winds were around 10kts and we were sailing with full main and genoa. By early evening the wind moved more northerly and our course turned more west than we would have liked. The weather forecasts showed us either getting a wind hole or winds from the north. We appeared to have ended up on the west side of the wind hole. This meant that we could keep sailing but our course was sometimes 90 degrees off of rhumbline.

In the light winds we tightened in all the sails and stayed pointed as close to the wind as we could. The forecasts all say the wind should turn to the east and fill in so we hope to be making a more direct and northerly course in day 2.

We have kept SAS on our AIS for the whole 24 hours. They passed us around 2300Z and continue to sail 1-1.5kts faster than us. We are both pointing as high as we can and making the most of the headwinds.

We chatted with Elephant on our Iridium and they motored a little over night as they seem to have been more east and found the wind hole allowing them to move north close to rhumbline. They are slightly north of us as we all look for the winds to move easterly.

Yesterday started off sunny and the sea state has been gentle with the light winds. However, it became foggy and gray overnight. Now the fog has lifted but everything is still shades of gray. It's also getting colder outside and inside the boat.

We saw lots and lots of seabirds for the first 12-18 hours but they are now less common. All is well aboard and the boys each did an overnight watch. Everyone is excited about getting to Svalbard.

No comments:

Post a Comment