Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Azores Inbound - Day 9

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 35 55N 045 06W, saillng at 6 knots on a course of 080M. The wind is WNW at 20-25 knots with a 2m sea and 2m swell. We are sailing under double-reefed main and single-furled yankee. Scattered mid-level cloud. Our day's run was 134nm, our DMG was 125nm and we have 800nm to go. We're well past the half-way mark!

Yesterday afternoon conditions were uncomfortable with light winds and a high swell. We struggled on under sail in 8-12 knot winds until 2230 when the wind dropped to 6-8 knots. With that wind the sails were slatting horribly so we motor-sailed. Happily only 2 hours later the wind built to 12-15 from the NW and we could kill the motor. Since then the wind has continued to build and back around to the WNW.

Apart from the large swell last night was very nice. With only scattered cloud and no moon for much of the night the stars were bright and clear. Moonrise at about 0300 was spectacular again - just 1/8 but very bright. By morning the swell had decreased somewhat.

We spent much of the night within a few miles of another yacht. We got her name from AIS but didn't recognise her. At times I thought I could see two other yachts in the distance but the swell made it hard to be sure. Getting crowded out here!

Sea temperature is now down to 20C and some nights have been distinctly chilly. The depressions passing to our north drag down some quite cold air. Thermals have been retrieved from deep stowage and put to use.

It looks like we should have pretty good winds for the next few days, perhaps all the way. It's been frustrating having to motor every few days with near-gales in between. That seems to be the way of the world hereabouts. Hopefully our speeds will improve with more consistent weather.

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