The blue ocean lays out before us as a magical wonderland of flatness. We can not see land, but we do see the turquoise clouds over the shallow waters of the Abacos islands in the Bahamas. There are still a few ships on the horzion, but none are close to us.
Our glorious push from the Gulf Stream is given up as we slowly drift our way towards the 1020 line. Winds are light and seas are flat, but we have hopes of wind once we make it to the 1020 line.
Why don’t we turn north? Let’s look at the weather fax!
Oh yeah, sometimes the weather fax looks like crap! I couldn’t get it to tune in until the region of our location was already over with, so I got a very ugly chart of the weather around us, but not where I am at the moment. What does show is the westward border of the 1020 line.
It was at the longitude of Haiti when we left, but now it has pulled back and is almost at the longitude of Puerto Rico!
Why not just give up on chasing down this mythical holy grail line on a atmospheric pressure chart and just ride the current north? Well, if you look up north, you will see “GALE” written up there. It turns out there were these massive gales that were stationary up there and really messed up the Annapolis/Bermuda race that year. One of my friends was on a boat in the race and the captain actually abandoned the race and returned to the Chesapeake Bay after having so much break on the boat! Needless to say, we wanted a nice “smooth sail” to the Azores, and heading into a gale was not in our cards.
Instead, we continued to drift along slowly.
The pressure chart was pretty worthless for weather planning, so I also collected the wind/wave charts as well, hoping to piece together a cohesive story for what the weather was doing around us.
It appears that the winds north of us seem to be rather squirrely, blowing in all different directions and different strengths. The wave height is pretty uniform as well, so we decided to keep creeping east towards the 1020 line, even though it was now hundreds of miles further away.