Well the original plan was to leave the UK today or tomorrow and sail to France to then wait for the weather window to head south across Biscay and in to the trade winds. However, the weather gods are conspiring against us at the moment and there are a series of large depressions coming across the Atlantic with some big winds and large seas. As we are not in a race we have the luxury of choosing when we leave and can pick suitable weather. There is no point in heading out right from the start in to a storm and rick breaking kit in the first few days. Much more sensible to sit and wait. My weather router, South African sailor Nick Leggatt, is closely watching as things develop in the Atlantic.
The plan now is rather than heading to France and waiting out there (and paying marina fees for however long), we have decided to wait in Gosport and when the time comes I will sail straight from here to the start. The actual start line is between the Créac’h lighthouse on the island of Ushant (48° 27,551754 N 005° 07.74078 W) and the Lizard lighthouse in Cornwall (49° 57,612 N 005° 12,128 W), so effectively a line across the western end of the English Channel. This also forms the finish line.
This does give us more time to set up the experiments we are doing with Portsmouth university – accurately measuring the ocean temperature (so they can calibrate the satellites measuring surface temperature) and recording the worlds first Ocean Soundscape of the noises in the deep oceans and if there is any human noise pollution.
So for now it is a case of sitting tight and waiting…