Azores to Falmouth - Day Two 41 27.999N 025 42.766W

Mike and Liz Downing
Thu 17 Jul 2014 17:06
Continued with both genoas poled out as the wind stayed in the SW, at least until 02.00 this morning when it increased, went round briefly to the NW and then settled in the west. However, the changes meant that the leeward pole had to come down so we could sheet the leeward genoa in normally to catch the wind. So in the middle of a deep sleep at 02.00 I had to get all dressed up to go on deck to take the pole down - not nice. Doubly not nice as it was raining too! While the wind was in the NW the windward genoa was rolled away, but once back in the west we could put the windward pole forward and put a little bit of genoa out to windward to keep a good speed up - 6 to 7kts. The wind dropped down again as the dawn came up and the speed dropped back to 4 to 5kts, but we've kept sailing the whole time and, as said yesterday, coming from the Azores that has to be good. We're expecting stronger winds from the NW again overnight and tomorrow, but we'll aim to set the sails ready for it before we start our night watches, so hopefully no deck work in the middle of the night - fingers crossed! Our noon-to-noon run was 123 miles, and as I write we have 1,001 miles to go.

Weatherwise it's been a mixed bag - some sun, but generally a lot of cloud and the odd shower. It's been quite warm during the day, but the nights are starting to get cold (very cold for us tropic birds!) so it'll be several layers and full foul weather gear tonight. It reminds us of why we decided to head south 6 years ago! Liz is knitting another scarf to wear! Starting to see a few ships on AIS and one passed within 7 miles of us, so just on the horizon. We're not in contact with any other yachts on this passage as none were going in our direction, but one did come very close yesterday afternoon. Tried calling it up several times, but no reply came back and it headed off in a north westerly direction - all quite mysterious!

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