Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Azores Outbound - Day 4

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 44 22N 0223 14W, proceedlng at 5.0 knots on a course of 040M.  The wind is WNW at 2-5 knots with a calm sea and long 2m swell.  We are motoring.  Broken high-level cloud.  Our day's run was 126nm, our DMG was 109nm and we have 823nm to go.

We could probably sail in this wind if it were not for the swell on our beam.  Each swell shoves us to and fro, making the apparent wind 0-7 knots which allows the sails to slat annoyingly.  A couple more knots of true wind and we'll be sailing again.  On the positive side the adverse current we had yesterday has gone.

Sunrise this morning

Setting moon this morning

Yesterday afternoon the sun came out and remained so until the early hours of this morning.  That was very nice while it lasted.  The wind stayed NNW but gradually eased.  The afternoon was a great sail and we had a pleasant night.  During the night it became progressively slower going.  By 0400 this morning we were sailing at less than 2 knots.  At 0430 I started the engine and we've been motoring since.

Yesterday afternoon we saw several whales blowing.  Happily they stayed at least a hundred metres away as we gradually overtook them.  We continue to see Portugese Men'o'War from time to time.  We are also accompanied by several birds.  Not sure what they are - white undersides with black edges, brown topsides, slender wings rarely flapped, about 0.6m wing span.

This morning we've had a couple of ships pass within visual range.  One 1.5nm away and another about 4nm.  They were both on the same route so that's one shipping lane crossed.  We expect to cross many more in the western approaches to the English Channel.

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