Halfway to the Azores

Terry/ Nicola Flinn
Fri 1 Jun 2007 16:49
36:45.00N 47:35.00W
1247pm Thursday 31st May. 942 miles from Bermuda, 942 miles to Horta in the Azores.
This has been the hardest, wettest and most exhilarating part of our adventure so far !
After 2 days, the strong winds reduced, then died and, of course, we had to use the motor.
However, it meant that mealtimes were more relaxed, we were able to have a proper wash and we even managed to catch a monster dorado.
Days  4 through 7 produced light winds, which allowed us to sail, albeit rather slowly and we had a couple of dolphin experiences.
By Day 8, the near gale-force winds returned with a vengeance and they lasted until lunchtime Day 10.
Because the wind was from the north, the boat was on its fastest point of sail and even with only handkerchief sized sails hoisted, our daily mileage almost doubled; in one 24 hour period, we covered 168 miles, a record for Flinesse. However, it was all a bit nerve- wracking with massive waves rushing in from the left knocking the boat off course, lots of noise from the wind and waves,and the wind generator sounding like it was about to wind itself off the stern.
To top it all, we had 4 hours of torrential rain. In these 30 - 35 knot winds, the boat was travelling at over 7 knots, which peaked once at 10.1kts as we surfed down the swell. Night-times were the most unpleasant for the person on watch, as you can't see where the next bucketful of flying water was coming from; it was best just to get out of it and sit at the top of the companionway stairs.
Because of the rocking and rolling, it was no fun difficult below decks either: cooking, eating, washing and sleeping were very difficult, and so we were all ended up pretty jaded.
We learned today that one of the yachts in the fleet has lost its mast, but that everyone on board is safe and they plan to continue to the Azores using their engine; you're in our thoughts guys.
Now the winds have moderated and the sun is shining, we can catch up with domestic chores, compose e-mails and look forward to the return of Happy Hour !