To Azores Day 4

Friday, July 28

Noontime watch: we split the 12:00 hour into two 30 minute “workout” watches. It gives us an odd switch over so we don’t get stuck with the same dog-watches every night.

It’s working out.

I (James) started my new sci-fi novel today…it feels so good to be finally putting this work down. I’ve had it in my head for two decades and now it’s going on the page as if I already know the story…I do I guess…until I don’t.

James begins his new book

There seems to be a weather formation coming up from the west and it is making its presence known in the form of wind fluctuations from abaft…very light and teasing.

Dena’s 1-4pm watch

2:03 pm: We’re not really seeing the steadying up of the wind that the forecast (from the morning we left) said we’d see. We’re motorsailing a little under break-even, meaning we’re still adding power to the battery even though we’re also using the motor. We’re only getting about a knot from it but with that bit of wind we have, we’re moving between 2 and 3 knots.

And so we go.

Dena’s 5-6pm watch

5:49 pm: It’s frustrating to slat the main as much as we have. When the light wind was forward of or just off the beam, we just went slow. Like this, though…I can see stretch marks on the sail where it bends around the shrouds. Not great.

I just gybed again, back to a port tack. It’s the third gybe of the day and all in a very short period of time. It’s because we’re trying to go so far downwind in part but mostly because the swell and wind and current make it complicated to figure out the best course. Most direct isn’t always it, but I don’t think we’d be going a ton faster if we turned farther north and south isn’t an option because it’s where the wind won’t be picking up over the next day. Plus the current sends us a good 10-15 degrees south of our heading.

The BMS for the lithium phosphate cells shows that it was initialized 60 days ago. Woohoo! This is one hell of a shakedown.

Dena’s 7-8 pm watch

7:04 pm: Well. A grilled cheese with tomato sandwich and some soup, and my attitude has improved. Fancy that.

Oh, those sunsets

James’ 8-9 pm watch and beyond: Just before sunset I shook the second reef and unfurled the Yankee to the max…there was some struggling adjustment and another gybe or two then she settled in for the overnight watches…stars, clouds and a million meteors and satellites. Sailing in the dark, in the Verse the wind rose slightly to the west…sailing on an extreme port broad reach is not Lovebot’s fave.


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