Outside the Outer Hebrides

It’s been a slow 24 hours of sailing. Last night we traded tacks with Old Pulteney and Switzerland, with a dramatic backdrop of the everlasting dusk’s orangey glow above the mountainous Hebridean islands. It never got truly dark, and it was hard to judge when dusk ended and dawn began – the sea was always silvery, and started to lighten just perceptibly at around 2:3Oam.
We’ve had a light wind, summery day, and progress has been very slow towards the Butt of Lewis and our waypoint at the Northern tip of the Hebrides. WHile the night was cold and clear, today has warmed up as the wind has lightened. We’ve been flying the A1 most of the day, and the crew on deck have dug out shorts and other lighter gear – not really aht we expected so far North.
We’ve been celebrating Canada day on board – an array of tiny Canadian flags appeared around the boat before sunrise, and we all have maple leaf temporary tattoos, while Eric is in formal attire, with a maple leaf tie over his blue pirate shirt. Fiona and Phil have labored all day in the galley – pnacakes, bacon and maple syrup made for a Canadian breakfast, and Fiona produced an amazing chocolate cake from under her bunk for dessert this evening.
We unfortunately managed to put a new tear in the A1 during a light wind gybe – we were so busy making sure it didn’t wrap on the spreaders, that somehow we managed to tear it on near the foot by catching it on the bowsprit. The wind was so light though, that we just dropped it on deck, repaird it with sticky – flying the A2 instead – and then rehoisted without even wooling.
THe light wind has given the boats further back a chance to catch up – GB and PSP managed to stay further out to sea, sailing right up to the sisx or so clippers currently bobbing about on roughly the same patch of water. THe shipping forecast is talking about south westerly gales – they seem very far away right now. A lot is going to depend on who gets the new wind first. Until then, it looks like it’ll be a slow night for TeamHLFiftyYOPS, in the Atlantic, somewhere near the Butt of Lewis.

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