The current low pressure system dominating the eastern part of the North Atlantic got more attention over the last couple of days and is even dubbed “Storm Oscar” by now. The talk is around an “Atmospheric River” pouring extraordinary rain. I believe hardest hit sits on Madeira, where statistics with 5 times over the last 60 years illustrate the exceptional weather situation. Soon it will also affect the mainland peninsula. With record high water temperatures in the Atlantic reported by NOAA for 2023 this “Atmospheric River” just seems to be another sign of global climate change.
As sailors we have to cope with it or stay at home. Overall I think we have been lucky again on various aspects. We picked a perfect weather window from St. Martin to Bermuda and were relatively lucky on the passage from Bermuda to Azores. While following the sailing recommendations from Jimmy Cornell it becomes apparent, that his big disclaimer is justified in nowadays obviously happening climate change. While the risk factor has changed, I believe, available weather information has greatly improved to compensate for the same.
The expected swell pushing into the marina at yesterday’s afternoon high tide did not happen. My guess is, that the stronger winds gusting 45kn from North and the constant pouring rain were dominant over the swell pushing it back and down. Right or wrong, good for us! The night was peaceful, wind down to 25kn only and no further line checks needed during the night.
Under the given conditions we had a pleasant quality time in our cosy 43ft – 5 star – nest but are relieved that it seems over, for now!