To Azores Day 23

Wednesday August 16

Day 23… 323.8nm to Horta.

We traveled 91.3nm in the last 24 hours blowing our 72nm average out of the water…so to speak.

Did a full inspection of the rig and she looks good. Despite the stresses we’ve been pretty gentle on this leg. The Yankee roller furling needs repairs again…same problem as last time.

The seas kicked up on Dena’s long overnight watch last night. And she dropped that second reef sometime in the night…I was not awake for that.

1581.1nm out of Bermuda, I don’t miss it a bit.

James’ 1-4 watch

1:14 pm: It’s that time again! Or, it’s a new longitude again. We’ve gone more than 1500 nautical miles (the last 24 hours, we made 91 miles which is good for us) and so it’s time to do the last round of advancing the clocks. We should now be on Azorean summer time.

We’re almost down to 300 NM remaining, and it’s a 4-6 day trip now. It really does feel like we’re approaching something. Partly because the first of the islands is a hundred miles closer and partly because we expect to start seeing fishing vessels. In another day or two, we’ll have to return to a higher level of vigilance.

We’re going almost directly downwind and the waves are causing a certain amount of havoc. We’ll be lined up for a few and then get a couple that toss us back and forth as they pass. This isn’t anyone’s favorite way to sail, especially Beluga Greyfinger.

James’ overnight watch

The winds kicked up overnight making my long watch very, very long. The sky was perfectly clear for most of the night with lots of the usual satellites and meteor action but the seas are still in the 18-25ft range…fuck that!

8:16 am: What a rough night! Beluga kept coming back to the forepeak whenever it scared him and I only saw James resting once. I woke up a lot, so that’s more significant than it would be if I’d slept soundly.

There must be one hell of a storm north of us. We’re getting reasonable wind waves, but there’s a monster swell from the north. Glad we’re not getting whatever winds are making those.

We’re about 4 days out, I think, and I’m ready to arrive. If the weather improves maybe I’ll go back to thinking I can do this forever, but I’d like to get anchored behind a break wall right now!


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