12th January, 2020
Good evening Blog readers, just quick update from the mid-Atlantic. This evening we are mid-passage distance form Funchal to Antigua, with roughly 1400 nautical miles under the belt and with 1400 to go.
I have taken a slightly longer route around, is that possible, surely it’s all straight line stuff, well, yes and no. The shortest route between two points, in terms of east/west, on a flat chart, representing a globe, is indeed a curved line, it’s what we call a ‘great Circle. A straight line on the same chart is longer. On the evening of the 10th, first day out of Funchal, it was clear that the Low Pressure weather system, way to the north of our position, was going to send an annoying significant ‘swell’ our way with a reach stretching right across the Atlantic. Therefore, I opted for a longer route, a Rhumb line passage south to appoint east of Antigua and then run in on a south-of-westerly heading.
The plan had three benefits, firstly we were heading south clear of the swell and getting into warmer climes, secondly, a Rhumb line passage keeps the ship more south than on a an equivalent Great Circle route and thirdly, we had hope of finding the North Equatorial Current which has ‘fuel’ saving advantages. So far, so good on day three!
Talking of “so far, so good”, the crossing, whilst we have had a gentle rolling swell, has been quite fantastic with generally blue skies and shade temperatures up in the 26 to 27 Celsius range. Couple that with the following Trade Winds that made for really great sunbathing conditions and for ‘getting into the Caribbean’ swing ; which was starting to slowly come over the ship. Bring on the Caribbean!
Captain Stuart Horne
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