Back in the groove


Position 69.04 N 12.08 E @ 2100UCT

Barrabas is at latitude 69 degrees north, just above Vestfjorden on Norway’s west coast. At present, we are heading due west in anticipation of west winds forecast to arrive at midnight which I can harness to sail south. But relatively shallow water over the Rost Bank off Vestfjorden is not the place to be with the winds driving the seas against the land. My charts are crowded with warnings of dangerous waves, hence my tactic to get out wide.

The bone-marinating cold of the last few days and the pitiless grey of the seascape put me in mind of the Russian Arctic. This morning however was gloriously blue and warmer. My quest to make south is again inspired not only by thoughts of home but by my feet feeling like blocks of ice as they did going around Cape Horn. With the short distance to the English south coast, I am less frugal with onboard power and the heater is not rationed to the same extent as before. A school of large, black porpoises swan around Barrabas at mid-morning and a little way further off plumes of spray betrayed a solitary whale. I am back in the groove of sailing Barrabas with all my onboard routines re-established. The familiarity of it all is strange as if I only left Barrabas on her own for a weekend.