Ascension Island to the Azores Day 28 – At last the loom of the lights of Sao Miguel

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Sun 19 Mar 2017 02:20
Position                    37:26.09 N 026:25.84 W
Date                         2359 (UTC) Saturday 18 March 2017
Distance run             in 24hrs 114nm over the ground, 115nm through the water
Passage total            3,697nm over the ground, 3,619nm through the water
Distance to go          41nm   
Planned distance      Ascension to the Azores west around the high 3,666nm
The forecast light and variable winds arrived at about 0800, together with a much subdued swell.  This was preceded by a couple of hours the wind dying away to 8 knots only to come back with ten minute periods of 15 to 18 knots.  In the calmer interludes the boat was being thrown through the wind by the swell that was still running and this made for frustrating sailing.  The furler had again failed, this time with a full genoa out, so it was necessary to get Elizabeth up so that we could wind the full genoa  in using the faithful lithium battery rechargeable drill (one charged battery = one full wind of the sail with a bit in hand).  The furler requires examination and this will wait until we stop as we should be motoring until we arrive.  The remainder of the day whilst overcast was not unpleasant even if we were motoring, it was such a change to be able to move about a boat on a more even keel.  Elizabeth proudly produced more coleslaw to go with a ham and cheese omelette for lunch; the cabbage and carrots are from Cape Town two months ago, the eggs either from St Helena or Ascension, six and four weeks ago respectively.
Today’s daily distance run figures are low,despite motoring as we have been keeping the speed down, running at 1180 rpm with occasional bursts to clear the exhaust, so that we do not arrive before daylight on Sunday and do not have to heave to in light winds.  Towards midnight the first sighting of the loom of the lights of Sao Miguel, the Azorean Island of Ponta Delgada, our destination, came up. This will be our first sighting of land in four weeks and I hope that the next posting will be the finale.