25 June 2022

Day 21 — Into the eastern Atlantic

Today was all about gradually emerging out of the eastern side of the Azores High and into what is effectively the eastern Atlantic. I guess officially this really begins at 35W — the border between Met Area IV, the western Atlantic weather region under the responsibility of the US, and Met Area II, under the French — but I was going by the perceptible change in the actual weather around us.

For years, Les Weatheritt, Petronella's second owner, has been telling me that the US East Coast has the worst weather in the North Atlantic, and that we shouldn't be afraid of the unknown weather (unknown to me, he meant) in the eastern Atlantic . The unknown is always a bit scary, and I must admit that I was a bit reluctant to trade the devil I knew for… well, who knew what?

But as Helena and I finally turned off Petronella's engine this afternoon and resumed sailing in near perfect weather — a warm 8 knot breeze on the port beam, mild seas, water tinted azure green, and puffy clouds — I thought I could get used to this.

The stormy fronts boiling off the US coast were far behind us, and we hadn't actually seen any fronts for about a week. They were all shunted into the north by the High which wouldn't let them past. The forecast said we would have 8-12 knot winds the rest of the way to the Azores. Could we really be that lucky? Had we'd really entered some magic zone of good weather? We haven't had enough experience with the area to believe that, but for now, it sure feels good.

Tomorrow, we should officially pass into Met Area II. I need to subscribe to the French forecast. It's a new world…

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