Captain Jonathan Mercer
We left Lisbon on Thursday night, bound westwards for landfall in the Bahamas, having had a “maiden call” ceremony with the port officials that morning, after which I had interviews with the local TV stations.
I had 2 choices for our route, the shortest, which is a Great Circle route and a composite of varying courses, or a rhumb line, which a straight line to our destination. The rhumb line was 60 miles longer, however I decided on this route, which took us south of the Azores, (as opposed to the Great Circle, which took us north). My reasoning being that there were two ‘nasty’ weather systems barreling in from the Atlantic and by going south, I hope to miss their full effect. So off we set and sure enough, Friday and Saturday brought us steep swells and moderate winds, however compared with what was happening further north, this was quite acceptable, as up there, had we taken the great circle route, we would have had 60 knot winds.
We passed 200 miles south of the Azores yesterday (Saturday), and this morning we woke to considerably less wind, although the swell generated by the passing of the weather systems is still present. All we need now is for the cloud-cover to decrease, the sun is trying its best.
The remnants of hurricane “Shary” is 600 miles to our north-west and should not affect us and having got her out of the way, I am now watching “Tomas”, brewing in the Caribbean, however it is early days for that one, the computer models varying in their forecast as to which path it will take, so time will tell…
Jonathan Mercer is Nieuw Amsterdam’s captain.