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AJ Wanderlust's Around Iceland Challenge Day 35

by Adrian Gray 19 Jun 2023 04:50 PDT

Day 35 of AJ Wanderlust's Around Iceland Challenge Race. Wind shifts, rainbows and towering cumulous clouds dominated today.

Thus far, AJ Wanderlust has sailed 3500 nautical miles in our Around Iceland Challenge. The rhumbline course (Plymouth start to Plymouth finish) would be 2753 nautical miles. Our diversion to the Faroe Islands due to storm force winds account for 500 miles of this total. The remainder is due to tacking and gybing angles based on wind direction. By the time AJ Wanderlust sails into Plymouth for the finish of the Iceland Challenge, we expect to have roughly 4000 miles under the keel.

The clouds today have been spectacular. Huge, towering cumulous clouds have dominated the landscape. Usually these would be associated with thundery showers and squally rain conditions. We have only had one rain squall and no thunder or lightening. We have experienced frequent 90-degree wind shifts, and thus there has been alot of tacking. Each wind shift comes with a slight increase in wind, and then a wind holds afterwards. Thus speeds throughout the day have varied greatly.

While AJ Wanderlust has not had much rain to wash her decks, there have been rainbows all around us today. Always a lovely sight.

A significant change today is activity on the VHF radio. While most of the transmissions we are picking up are from the Coast Guard (via repeater stations) and involve regular marine safety weather updates, hearing the VHF crackle to life is a sure sign we have left more remote sailing waters and are approaching civilization. AJ Wanderlust has also heard jet planes overhead today, so we seem to be under the flight path to America.

The days at sea are passing quickly. The light winds are tricky for a heavy boat such as AJ Wanderlust, and so there is constant sail trim and review of routing choices per the weather files. Bobby's celestial navigation has extended from the sun to also include Venus (the only planet visible to us at nautical twilight) and various bright stars, now that AJ Wanderlust is again in latitudes with hours of darkness.

Whilst we are thankful to have plenty to eat aboard AJ Wanderlust, we are becoming bored with rice, pasta, and tins of canned food. There is only so much you can do with sauces!

The cockpit chart plotter aboard AJ Wanderlust failed this morning. While the cockpit station is only a repeater of the master chart plotter below at the chart table, it is a convenience that we will miss, especially as shipping traffic increases. Today, AJ Wanderlust had three Irish fishing boats appear on AIS. - the "Joy of Ladram", "Ambitious" and "Achieve".

We expect AJ Wanderlust to cross the club Finish line at QAB Marina on or around Thursday 22nd evening and hope to have a great reception for them as they step ashore in Plymouth.

To follow them on the final part of their epic, record breaking journey, go to

For their live tracker updates visit and follow the tracker link at the bottom of the page.

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