Friday, 1 July 2016

Azores to UK Passage Summary

Hi everyone,
Here is a summary of our passage from Horta in the Azores to Falmouth in the UK.  We will remember it as a chilly and damp passage, but relatively benign.  It seems we earned some "credit" from the weather gods after the many fronts between Bermuda and the Azores.

First the usual plots...

Zen Again Track
Zen Again Speed
Our track took us north of the great circle route in search of wind - the classic route.  We had light winds for most of the passage, only encountering strong winds on the last two days.  A few boats took a more direct route and used much more fuel.  We prefer to sail.

Here are the vital statistics...
  • Distances/Speeds
    • Route Distance = 1250nm
    • Logged Distance = 1430nm
    • GPS Distance = 1312nm
    • Duration = 11 days 3 hours
    • Average boat speed = 5.3kt again!!!
    • Average ground speed = 4.9kt
    • Average VMG = 4.7kt
    • Average day's run = 128nm
    • Best day's run = 144nm (6.0kt)
    • Minimum boat speed = 2 kt
    • Maximum boat speed = 8 kt
  • Weather
    • Minimum wind speed = 0 kt
    • Average wind speed = 12 knots
    • Maximum wind speed = 30kt
    • Apparent wind angle range = 50 to 160
    • Seas up to 3m
    • Swell up to 2m
    • Mostly overcast, occasionally clear skies
  • Engine
    • Total = 57 hours
    • Driving = 55 hours
    • Charging = 2 hours
  • Consumption
    • Water = 90 litres (8 litres / day)
    • Fuel = 80 litres
  • Failures
    • 12Vdc charger for Macbook Air laptop (we had a spare)
  • Stars
    • The boat!
    • Pelagic Autopilot ram (steered 95% of passage)
    • Craftsman CM3.27 engine
    • PredictWind Offshore app (over Iridium GO!) for obtaining GRIBs
    • qtVlm GRIB viewer and weather-routing software
It is interesting that we appear to have had adverse current overall, to the tune of 118nm.  That's nearly a day we lost.  We were expecting favourable current but it didn't happen.

The engine had a good run on this passage and almost all the hours were motoring vice charging.  We motored at revs between 1500rpm and 2500rpm.  We're very pleased with our Craftsman engine which we fitted in Malaysia in 2013 and now has nearly 800 hours on the clock.

View of Falmouth inner harbour from Prince of Wales pier
Falmouth from the mooring
Zen Again in Falmouth
Yesterday we cleared in with the UK Border Force.  This was done entirely by telephone.  We also organised UK SIMs for our mobile phones.  Amazingly reactivating a Lloyds bank account which has been dormant since 1986 took only minutes!

Today we have been cleaning up the boat.  The relatively benign passage left little water in the cockpit lockers which made it a quick job.  We have plenty of s/s polishing to do.  We filled the fuel tanks from the jerry cans.  No need to refill the jerries as yet.  The water tanks and water jerries are full again.  We're ready to start moving along the south coast.

Thanks to those of you who have made donations using the Donate button.  We really appreciate them.  The communications costs to write this blog at sea amount to 10 times all the donations we've received.  So if you enjoy the blog and/or learned anything from it please consider donating.  It would be especially appreciated given our current unemployed status.  Think of it as buying us a beer!

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