Stow Aways

Wed 26 May 2010 16:52
37:46N 23:29W
6.1 Knots
Under Main, Motor and Poled Out Head Sail
Great whale experience yesterday. We had 4 fin whales, about 10 metres long around us for about half an hour. One in particular was very curious and came within 100M of us on a few occasions diving below us twice. In the distance was a large whale which could have been a blue.
Lost our GPS fixes for some reason. All of the units on board were giving either odd readings placing us just off the coast of spain or no readings at all. Luckily we have been practising our celestial navigation.
Its difficult to shake the Azores. Sailing along the coast of Sao Miguel this evening. Its taking a long time to put it astern of us. Seems like about 25-30 miles long and we have very little wind. It is odd to us to have land so close at night, we are used to the open ocean. At a mile off David has been using his phone and getting mail which has not been possible for a long time. 40 Hours at sea, the islands still visible.
The weather is now quite warm again during the day. We are back to shorts and have put the bimini back up for shelter. At night its a little chilly under an almost full moon but nothing like last week.
Reflecting on our weekend in the Azores, it is definitely a place we would all like to revisit. I was very surprised. >From a distance it looks like Ireland, green and subdevided fields cross the hills, but there is so much more vegetation. Its like Kerry with a large moustache. The air is pure making the clouds and landscape strikingly vivid and the sea is crystal clear and teeming with life as it washes on the black volcanic rock. The place is incredibly cheap.
Joey awoke me this morning at 0600 with his usual "Ruaidhri its time". I told him I was not getting up in future unless he addressed me as Captain. The breakfast he prepared for me afterwards was skimpier than usual.
We have six stow away mosquitos aboard. Residents of the azores, we had difficulty communicating with them at first. They seem quite intellegent as they do not bite the captain but feed under cover of darkness on all crew. We have managed to identify their leader and have negotiated a restrictedarea where feeding is not permitted. We, in turn, have promised safe passage to Lisbon.