Early morning watches found quite a startling spectacle as they show up on deck.
Stormy conditions yesterday have developed into calm weather. During the dark hours of the new day, we found ourselves in a practically windless situation, with a light breeze shifting and turning around as rain fell from a thundery sky and lightning flashed around us. Passing big clouds combine with smaller showers now and then. A look at the radar tells of a more stable situation north of us, further away passed the area of atmospheric disturbance. To get over there, Top Sails come down not to interfere with the necessary engine work to make way. Like that, by the early morning, a good 15kn of Northerly wind starts blowing, while the sun rises over the clear horizon in front of us, as we turn the wheel to a good Easterly course straight to Tristan da Cunha.
Fair conditions for hoisting more canvas. Top Gallants are sheeted down and their yards hauled, followed by setting the Outer Jib, Deckzwabber, Courses, and Desmond replacing the smaller Aap flying over the Main deck. It didn’t take long to keep pulling halyards and sheets of the remaining sails, though keeping the Upper Staysails and Gaff Top Sail furled.
With the breeze coming up and down, sure affected by the passing frequent showers, an eye should be kept on the changing conditions. The squalls concentrate their impact on small surfaces as they travel around or we cross their path, and may come with associated changing and strong gusts, might be as well that sometimes they bring just rain and direction shifts in the current wind.
Along the afternoon and evening, the Northerlies become more of a Northwesterlies. As the wind backs, braces are pulled gradually squarer to keep our progress towards the East.
The Cumulus clouds growing from the sea, the thunderstorms and showers sweeping fast over the ocean surface, the warm temperature both of the air and surface water, the colorful rainbows, sunrises, and sunsets, all talk about a change in the climate area where the Europa sails now. For the moment we left behind the roars of the angry 40’s latitudes and make our way close to the southern edge of the Subtropical area, which actually covers latitudes between 23°26′11.6″ and approximately 35°.
With the sailing Northwards then bending our course to East, from 48kn gusts to windless conditions, all an all in the last 24 hours from noon to noon we are just 20nm closer to Tristan da Cunha after 96nm done over ground. Anyway, several of the breeding seabirds almost exclusive to Tristan are spotted flying around the ship. The numerous Spectacled petrels, Great shearwaters, and the beautiful Atlantic Yellow-nosed albatrosses that elegantly soar nearby tell us about the proximity of the remote archipelago.