39 24 243N 31 49 369W - 20 June

Tue 20 Jun 2006 16:30
Yesterday afternoon the square waves gradually subsided and we ended up with light winds, fluctuating 20 or more degrees every 10 minutes.  We are now motoring through what feels like classic Azores weather - no wind!  It is nice to have the boat flat again and not being thrown around, and we have been able to do things like have showers, cook without frustration, play cards (Pip is playing patience as she is too good at Connect 4 for any of us now!) without everything flying everywhere. 
There was great excitement at the sight of Flores this morning, from 40 miles away.  The island appears to be very mountainous.
Last night was terribly cold.  We needed full waterproofs when on deck, and it felt strange to be wearing so many clothes.  We have got used to doing nightwatch in a T-shirt and shorts!
We forgot to wind away the fishing line last night and suddenly in the pitch dark there was a bite!  The fish must have had very good night vision.  It was also a large fish, as it got the reel humming very loudly and soon reached the end of it and then snapped the line easily.  Another one that got away.  Charlie is seething with disbelief that we have not caught a single fish the whole way across the Atlantic!   Juliet is, at last, vindicated for buying so much food in the supermarket in Bermuda!
At the (slow) rate that we are going, with the engine on, we will make landfall around 2000hrs local time tonight.  Fortunately it will still be light - unlike in the Caribbean where the sun went down at 1830hrs.  As I write, Charlie is putting some champagne in the fridge.
Below depicts what our Atlantic travels look like on the GPS chartplotter.  We have covered over 10,000 miles, in 11 months, so far.
Today we have seen lots of dolphins.  Earlier we had around 30 playing near the boat.  We saw them in the water ahead, as it is very calm today.  They swam towards us, in groups of two or three, leaping in the air and squeaking to each other.
Dolphins under the water, taken from the bow of the boat
The run over the last 24 hours was 143 miles - our lowest yet for this trip.  Since we left Bermuda on 10 June we have had an average daily run of 165 miles, which is an average speed of 6.86 knots.  It looks as though Charlie has won the arrival time sweepstake.