Anyone following the track of our first night out from Lerwick might have reason to be confused. Winds from the north meant that, like dinghy racing, we spent the night tacking on the wind-shifts in order to maintain the best possible course towards our ultimate destination. It was slow progress but inexorably we crept north and eventually left Muckle Flugga light in our wake.
The weather forecast left [and still leaves] us with a problem. Heading north-west might bring the prospect of more favourable and stronger south-westerly winds but only after some time and with further to travel; heading north-east towards Norway brings the possibility of headwinds. Going due north is likely to lead us to a sustained patch of no wind at all. To compound the challenge, some forecasts show the possibility of a weak circulation along the norwegian coast that may provide a beneficial lift along the coastline. All forecasts suggest the next few days' winds to be light and fickle. Having set out with an outline plan to opt for the north-western approach, following receipt of more recent short term detailed forecasts we have adjusted the plan subsequently to take the paying tack north-east. So far, it seems to be working in our favour. Earlier this evening we crossed the international boundary into norwegian waters and our neighbour Betsy's hand-crafted courtesy flag now flies at Atlantis' spreaders.
They say that eating fish fuels the brain; our weather routing decision-making may therefore have been sharpened by our menu since departure from Lerwick. Richard Pattison's generous gift of prodigious quantities of freshly caught cod and a couple of large crabs have ensured a seafood theme to most meals. Fresh crab sandwiches for lunch, eaten al fresco in the cockpit, have been a real treat. For Tuesday's dinner, pan-fried cod has never tasted better but this has now become 'so passé': this evening, therefore, we tried our hands at fish pie to ring the changes. We are privately rather proud of the result. Light winds ahead for some time to come may make for slow progress but we are not going to starve!
Before ending this dog~watch blog, it is worth noting that we are soon to enter the realms of the midnight sun. We are not quite there yet but the sky is never dark. It begs an interesting question whether the red skied horizon is 'red sky at night' or 'red sky at morning'. The colour simply tracks across the northern horizon as the night progresses. All rather beautiful.
Midnight - looking north
Lovely picture of Atlantis at midnight.
Big hugs and wags,
Coco & Ingrid xxxx