Terceria-Santa Maria Day 2

Dena’s 1700-1800 watch 

We got close enough to São Miguel to get some new weather forecasts. Now it really does look like we’d be better off stopping at Santa Maria tomorrow, waiting out Saturday’s bad swell, and then taking off again Sunday or Monday.

I am underway! I would prefer to stay underway!

Also, I don’t like the idea of 4 meters at 9 seconds any more now than I ever did. 

It’s hard to believe it’ll be that bad. Right now, we’re motor-sailing in F2, downwind. The sun is bright overhead after an overcast morning and it’s sensationally beautiful. 

We’re running the chartplotter, the tiller pilot, all the regular house loads (fridge, a couple lights, chargers), and the motor, and we seem to have enough power that we could maintain this pace (about 3 knots) forever. Once the sun goes down, we’ll be using from the banks rather than from the solar panels. We’ll make sure we leave a good safety margin and just wash along gently under main only if power gets low.

Dena’s 2100-2400 watch

São Miguel and the capital, Ponta Delgada, are receding more slowly than the last light. The only thing I would have gone there for? The only Indian food restaurant in all the Atlantic islands.

The moon will rise a little before 2230 and I’ll be watching for it. (And other vessels, of course!) There’s a thick cloud later ringing the horizon so it might happen a little late, but I can be patient. 

All the clouds are an ominous reminder that we’re doing something we try to avoid…racing to safe harbor ahead of storms. Since we’ll never be the fastest boat on the water, we arrive for good planning and I think we have plenty of time.

Dena’s 2100-2400 watch

The moon rose on the bow and I watched, fittingly, kneeling and leaning on the aft bulkhead in the cockpit. Out of the water, a bright ember appeared and grew as though being blown on. As the lower limb became clearly visible, the top was striped by clouds (who knows how much farther around the curve of the Earth they appear to be directly above). Soon, the whole moon was striated.

A thicker band above provided an upsidedown setting, even to that thrilling moment when the bright ember became completely hidden and all the background colors popped. 

I celebrated with a hard-boiled egg (salt, black pepper, and Cholula) and a few mouthfuls of water then tapped this into my phone to cement the experience. A second moonrise is in progress now, so back to my viewing.

Rounding the point at Santa Maria

I didn’t log anything else that night and, by the time I was on shift the next morning, we were in the bay we planned to anchor in. Enjoy this picture instead of more description!

Still making enough power to get her done

Final position: N 36 42.359′ W 025 05.237′

Distance traveled: 68.7 NM in 21hr 42m

Average Speed: 3.17 knots


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.