Azores to Gibraltar Day 3 - Another fast day

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Thu 30 Mar 2017 03:52

Position                    37:14.88 N 016:14.23 W

Date                          2359 (UTC) Wednesday 29 March 2017

Distance run             in 24hrs 203nm over the ground, 199nm through the water

Passage total            454nm over the ground, 438nm through the water

Distance to go          534nm

Planned distance      Ponta Delgada, Azores to Gibraltar 986nm


When I had posted yesterday’s entry I realised that I had missed out trying to put into words what it felt like to be on a 25 ton missile surfing along the waves, especially in the dark; well I now have the opportunity as we have had another day of very similar sailing with an even greater distance covered.  Tomorrow we expect to start to run out of the south westerlies that are giving us this performance but for now we are enjoying it.  Including the half hour milling around going nowhere in Ponta Delgada Harbour whilst we sorted the deck out we have averaged 8.13 knots since casting off.  This is a record for us as is the 203nm over the ground and 199nm through the water for the day.  All of this is done whilst heading more or less due east with the wind at 20 to 25 knots from the SSW; the current appears strong at over 1 knot south going but is on the beam. We have two reefs in the genoa and main, a full staysail and half the mizzen. 


In a quartering sea Caduceus can provide a ride that is very smooth.  In the dark this can almost give an illusion of lack of forward movement if it were not for the sound of the sea rushing along the hull and the gentle rolling of the boat.  Just very occasionally the boat catches the wrong combination of waves and there is a more violent roll – beware complacency as it is these that can do the damage spiritually and temporally.  The nights are very dark, there being no visible moon, and the horizon is barely discernible.  In the daylight, it is a different matter as you get the whole picture, with a visible horizon, of the 4.5 metre swell; the period of 12 seconds contributes very much to the smoothness of the ride and the feeling of speed is very much there.