Day 2, Norway to Svalbard

0600Z 03JUL24, Day 2, Norway to Svalbard. 24 hours of sunlight has been 24 hours of gray. It doesn't get dark but it certainly hasn't been sunny. Occasionally it rained a bit to add to the dreariness. The bashing to windward continues.

Current Position: 74 10N / 014 20E
24 hour progress: 147nm, 6.1kts avg SOG, approximately 165nm to Vestvika, Svalbard.

In the late morning, the winds veered to come from the ENE and our course turned north as we stayed close hauled. We have been bashing along as close to the wind as we can - more when the waves are less and less when the waves are more. The winds picked up around mid-day and we added 2 reefs to the main. We also added and later removed a reef to the genoa as the winds fluctuated during the day.

Overnight the winds were about 20kts with gusts up to 25kts. The seas grew to about 2 meters. As the wind picked up in the late evening hours, a reef was added back to the genoa.

None of this is especially bad but it isn't very comfortable either. We would much prefer to be reaching then this constantly heeled over and pounding into the seas.

We expect it all to calm down throughout day 3 and will likely run out of wind or have to tack later today. Looking good for an arrival sometime on the 4th.

Once the winds moved around to the east we continued to point as high as we could while SAS3 pointed more directly to Longyearbyen. They fell off of our AIS coverage around mid-day between their higher speeds and the separation from our courses.

We continue to chat with Elephant on our Iridium. They are east of us and doing well. They reported that they had seen 6 orcas the previous day. Just as we were reading that Daxton came up to check on what he could eat and looked behind the boat and saw a large fin right behind us. It was a little disconcerting. We all rushed to look but the fin was soon in the surf, well behind us. Only Daxton and Megan really saw it well. We figure it was probably an orca checking out our Watt&Sea hydrogenerator. We know it makes noise under the water and have seen dolphins check it out before. This fin was bigger than a dolphin's and the only other whales that would likely interact with fins like that would be orcas or maybe pilot whales. Anyway, it was exciting to see some sea life other than birds!

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