Azores to Falmouth - Day Nine 48 39.420N 010 48.849W

Mike and Liz Downing
Thu 24 Jul 2014 17:29
The wind died most of yesterday afternoon and so the engine stayed on to keep the speed up. When the wind came back, it was, as the gribs had forecast, from the north. Initially there was some east in it and it wasn't possible to make the course. After a while heading towards Brest, not somewhere we wanted to go (big currents and the main shipping route) we put in a tack to the north west for a watch (4 hours) to get north of our route once again. By the time we tacked back the north wind had west in it so when close hauled we could make the course and have been able to all day today so far. Fingers crossed it stays that way! Now going into both wind and sea the motion is quite bouncy! But, the sun is now out and it's a lovely day. The noon-to-noon run was 118 miles and we have now sailed over 1,000 miles from the Azores. Falmouth is 230 miles away.

We requested stars and stars is what we got! It was a lovely clear night full of stars, although there doesn't seem so many and they don't seem as bright as those in the tropics or Southern Hemisphere. Not sure why that should be - at 300 miles off the end of Lands End there shouldn't be any light pollution out here! Have to look into that one day. Anyway, with the stars out the horizon was visible throughout the night and it was so much better.

A couple of fulmars have taken a liking to the boat and have been circling it on and off most of the day, coming so close and appearing to only just miss colliding with the sail. A gannet also followed the boat for a while, looking to see what we were disturbing in the water.

We're currently negotiating the Spanish fishing fleet that seems camped over the edge of the continental shelf. More on that tomorrow!

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