The Skandia Ocean Row team have had some changeable weather overnight, with heavy fog causing poor visibility

The Skandia Ocean Row team have had some changeable weather overnight, with heavy fog causing poor visibility. Despite the windy conditions, the crew are doing well and making slow but forward progress.

Although the wind and the swell are against them, this has not dampened the crew’s spirits. According to Mark Stubbs, Team Leader, the food is going down well and the team are pulling together.

Last night, the Skandia Atlantic Spirit was on the northern end of the small storm system, making for a restless night. According to expert Weather Router Lee Bruce, the team face a couple of days of brisk winds from the northwest, so they will be driving the boat toward the southeast.

“The northwest winds on Friday will not necessarily be a bad thing, because of strong southwest winds passing to their north by 23rd June. This means that the crew can use the northwest wind to row on a more south-eastward heading to get as far away from the gales as possible and to set up for the southwest winds,” explained Lee.

“There is a good reason why the crew did not plan to follow the shortest route to England i.e. the Great Circle route. Although seemingly ideal, the weather and currents suggest a less-direct route is needed. As an example, if the crew had followed the Great Circle route thus far, they would be faced with the prospect of southwest winds as high as 45-50 knots this weekend! Therefore, the odds are much better on the Skandia Ocean Row team’s more southern route,” Lee added.

The crew has added some water ballast to help stabilise the boat in the unfavourable combination of northeast swell and northwest wind. Later today, the swell is expected to align more in their favour, so boat speed (and comfort) should improve.

The team have managed to get some great photos of a school of dolphins that have been following the crew on their way, while Henry Bear and Georgina Bear are getting to know each other better. Henry has also been promoted by the crew to Chief Lookout which he carries out from the “Bear’s Nest”.