6/25: 2011 UTC. We are moving a pleasant 5 kts NE to find wind just N of Horta. It’s been all over the place, light, bursts of stronger wind under a heavy cloud, light rain, and changing direction. This morning we set the spinnaker and it was so light, and rolly from the long swell it kept collapsing. We took down the mainsail to get clear air and I sheeted it to the boom end. Better.
Finally it picked up a little and now with maybe 10 kts true wind we are doing 4 kts boat speed and 5 kts over ground! We are very happy with that.
This morning about 0500 Bermuda time I saw a pod of dolphins that played for a little while. Always appreciated.
We are less than 370nm from Horta. High pressure and light winds are expected as we approach, I think we’ve motored about 8 hrs so far. Plenty of fuel left.
We have been moving so fast lately we were hoping to make Horta Sunday, so we’ll angle north a little to get the most wind we can, and may have to motor the last bit – hopefully, not too far. But now it’s looking more like Mon or even Tue… soon, though.
We just passed a big fishing boat and I think it was from Azores!
Lat 38.192393 Lon -36.395903
0322 UTC. We are about 330 nm from Horta. Last night just before my watch we all had to scramble because the boat wouldn’t stay on course with the spinnaker. It seemed to be gusting and changing direction a little. I’m always leery of running with spinnaker at night. We got the spinnaker down with some grief, and the genoa up. Still the Auto Pilot was not working at all now.
I had to pull oodles of gear out of the locker to get to it. I found the AP quadrant had loosened and slid down the shaft until I no longer gripped the key.
I got it tightened and we’re back in business. Anders steered all the time. All the fun stuff / weather happens on his watch. Heading ENE and rolling like a joint in a Cheech and Chong movie!
Lat 38.508797 Lon -35.735135
2220 UTC. 223 nm to Horta, and ETA less than 40 hrs at our current 5-6 kts!
We’re starting to get all excited.
Got a lot of forecasts for light airs, but I guess we stayed N of them. We have shifted the clocks to UTC time, which happens to be Azores Daylight time. Saw Spotted Dolphins about 4 times today.
They still don’t stick around long, and are less predictable to photograph than Bottlenose, but sometimes they do some wicked jumps.