We are heading North for two reasons. First, we need to travel higher than the Azores High which extends next to us to our East so that we can sail with good winds (following winds) all the way to Portugal. The second reason we are sailing North is the winds will not allow anything else.
The winds have been blowing out of the East for the past week and show no signs of letting up. While we have ultimate freedom and can point our bow in any direction and reach any land we desire, the wind holds us captive and set in reality. We can point our bow any direction we would like, but the wind will only propel us in a few directions. The only direction that suits us at the moment is the Northern option.
The winds are starting to shift and move from the East to the North East, which is forcing us to choose to sail North West or South East.
We need the Northern component of the NW course, so we are technically backtracking while still working towards our destination.
I am able to view a NW course while we are trying to sail to an Eastern destination as progress while Maddie just feels us getting farther and farther from our destination.