Tuesday, 9am and we are all back in class for Andy’s lecture on what to expect as we cross the Gulfstream. This is generally the hardest part of the trip, unless a new low pressure system develops in the tropics…..

Gulf Stream currentIt is fascinating stuff. The current flows North East along the USA coast before crossing the Atlantic to Europe, keeping both coastlines warmer than they would be otherwise. Around where we will cross, the current is running at a few knots, and the warm water will produce localised clouds, with accompanying squally weather. We will enter the stream on the first night, and it’s about 80 miles across, so will take us most of the following day. If the wind has been blowing from the north, there will be wind over current, which create big confused seas, and is no fun. If the wind is from the south, we will be beating into it, and that won’t be fun either, and will last longer 🙁

Once we get through it, we can point South (wind direction permitting) and it could be a glorious sail all the way. But I bet it’s not quite like that!

Next lecture was on the use of our long range SSB radio to receive weather forecasts, communicate with other boats, and make a distress call to the ham radio maritime service – hope we don’t need that!

And finally, we had a good session on diesel engine maintenance, which was a great and timely reminder and checklist for making sure we have all the right spares on board before leaving port.

So then we had the afternoon to work on the boat. Despite the fact that we are ‘ready’ there is always more we can do to make sure we are as prepared and comfortable as we can be.

Once again there was an evening reception, this time in a quaint nauticalia shop, where the boats provided the hors d’oeuvres, the Rally provided the drinks, and we all wandered round the shop, chatting to each other, ringing ship’s bells, and enjoying all the trivia and collectables available for purchase with a large credit card limit!