As at 2230 hrs on Friday we are at 70º 41.4N 013º 43.3E. We have made good progress south from Svalbard and Atlantis has been a trooper soldiering on through some big swells at pace. We are now just over a hundred miles from the northerly shores of the Lofoten Islands and well within the official Inmarsat satellite coverage footprint again - although, in truth, we never found its most northerly extreme! It now looks as though the weather is going to make us work for every mile. The wind has switched to a more southerly direction so progress in the direction we need to go is slowed by the need to tack (zigzag) whilst sailling as close to the wind as we can. A few days ago, with the wind up our 'chuff', we were covering 100 miles in 15 hours. It is likely to take us 24 or more to reach the coast.
Whilst UK, we understand, is preparing for more heatwaves, the forecast for the next week or so here looks rather more bleak and not at all helpful. Strong near gale conditions from the south and southwest along the whole of the north Norwegian coastline are being induced by a series of low pressure areas rolling north along the coast. Things may change for the better as the forecast develops nearer the time but, if this is the case, we may end up holed up for a while. It may also force us into taking some of the inshore leads that run along the coast south of Bodo to creep southwards despite the offshore conditions. The bonus is that it will provided more diverse material to report on the blog. We'll keep you posted.