Passage to Azores Part 1 - Week 1
By Sheryl Shard, copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
Here is a summary of the trip with the pix we put up on Facebook using the IridiumGO unit… This is the first part of the trip… Click Here for Part 2
May 17 - Departure
We leave St Martin with the 1030 bridge out of the lagoon. This whole area for hundreds of miles has seen higher than average amounts of Sargasso Weed in the last few months and we try to divert around these house sized floating islands of the orange weed. When it gets caught in our rudders/keel and prop keg we are slowed quite a bit. We reverse and try to clear it every few hours but it is impossible to dodge in the dark. Nice sailing for the first day.
Caribbean breezes take us north. Wind is not too strong and seas not very large so getting our “sea legs” seems easier than it would have if winds were stronger.
We are testing an Iridium Go unit to get email, upload photos and tweets, as well as to access Predictwind and get routing advice and Gribs.
Every morning we have a few flying fish onboard. Sometimes 5-6. They only come on board at night when they can’t see and make the mistake of hitting us in the dark. The first night a large one lands in the cockpit flapping wildly around until I manage to grab his slippery muscular body and toss him overboard.
May 21 - we put in our 4 spare jugs of diesel.
#autoprop testing. We are motoring in a "zero wind puddle" and want to extend our range as much as possible. The autoprop adjusts it's pitch so hopefully we will make more miles at low revs than a conventional prop. We have been making 5.6 at just 1600rpm in a flat calm.
May 21 - Wind is just 2-3 knots seagulls around all day. Mainly shearwaters plus tiny British Petrels and flying fish. Good night
May 22 - Sea legs and a calm night mean we can have an amazing dinner! Sheryl makes an excellent flank steak with baked potato and green beans. We even get a small glass of red wine Bon a petit wherever you are!
#Sunrise on the Atlantic. Another day of calm weather on Day 6 of our #offshorepassage to #FloresAzores from the #Caribbean
Sailing in the rain. There is a little more wind in the rain shower passing now so we can sail.
We are now one third of the way to the Azores so might expect 10 more days at sea. Fair winds everyone
Sheryl makes dinner as we get ready for nightwatch. Sailing fast closehauled we have reefed the main to slow up a little for the night so we are going 8.2 instead of 9 knots. I slow us to 7 to stand the boat up while making dinner. More comfortable for my wonderful galley chef!
May 23 - Close reaching 7knots main and Genoa. Sher is making bacon and egg sandwiches for breakfast plus cappuccino. All well onboard
May 23 - Morning stroll today's crop of flying fish plus there was also a squid who squirted ink all over deck and dinghy but managed to escape (we hope)
May 24 - Wind is 3 knots on the nose so we motor on a gorgeous sapphire sea. Just saw our first Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish. 1300 miles to go.
Omg- 3kt wind again! ESE breeze motor sailing main and jib weather a bit cooler as we are out of the tropics now nearly half way to Flores
What is this?? Steel tank floating looks like part of a ship. It hasn't been floating long judging by minimal growth in it and good condition. Will try to post more shots of other angles. What is this?? Steel tank floating looks like part of a ship. It hasn't been floating long judging by minimal growth in it and good condition.
May 24 - That she blows!! In the middle of 3-4 sperm whales. Easy to see in calm conditions. Smaller juvenile swims towards us to take a look. He is perhaps 30-35 feet long (full grown are over 50)
Wind is up to 6-8 knots so we are sailing main and jib 32deg apparent at 4.6 knots. Unfortunately the wind is directly from Azores pretty evening. We had another visit from a pod of sperm whales…
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