Kingfisher is powering through the grey of the North Atlantic, trying to avoid the adverse winds in the southern sectors of a big low moving towards them

The latest report from Kingfisher:

“A grey, rainy, cold, wet, windy, North Atlantic day onboard Kingfisher – but we are at least now powering along in the right direction at 13 -14 knots having finally hit the shift in the wind to the northwest – allowing us to once again follow the direct route towards Newfoundland.

“Last night was cold, but more importantly frustrating on the wind front as we had generally light headwinds as we continued northwest towards the centre of the depression. Our tactical choice has been to find the safest route past this ‘bomb’ of a depression, and rather than try to take the northern route like Sill (i.e. to pass to north of centre), we have opted to get as far north as we can without trying to cross the black hole in the middle of the system. However Sill may well have pulled off what we thought wasn’t a goer, as she continues to fly round the top – only time will tell.

“Meanwhile, Ecover put distance in to the southwest, looking good on the leaderboard on us, but less good we hope for the long term as we’d rather be further north as we come out of this depression.

“Before that happens we have some strong winds and rough seas to negotiate – the swell has been coming from two opposing directions now for 24 hours – so you can surf and slam all at the same time!

“Life onboard for us at least (Ellen is outside of the watch system, but as usual isn’t sleeping very much!) is manageable, and revolves around three hourly watches – Youngster and I, Nick and Hendo. Any manoeuvre and at least one of the off watch get up from the relative calm of the sleeping bag to assist.

“Technically, we only have one major problem at present, and that is once again a total lack of wind information on the instrument system – more of a problem at night. Think the wand at the top of the mast has failed…maybe when its quieter…someone will climb up to repair. Until then we are working in `Mini Transat` mode…basic navigation by feel, none of the digital age here for now!

“We have 2,800 miles to go or so…slam, bounce, hosed as water pours across the deck! Its fun out here, but now time for some sleep.”