Notes from Nicola on watch

Terry/ Nicola Flinn
Tue 28 Aug 2012 09:39
43:22.09N 8:23.75W
As we approach La Coruna after 925 miles and 7 and a bit days at sea we are sailing on a gentle reach in bright sunshine. We have experienced all winds and weathers, from glorious sunny days with gentle, undulating seas, to heavy rain and huge rolling waves side-swiping the boat and literally knocking the wind out of our sails. We have done quite a bit of downwind sailing, which is a tricky point of sail and one that we were not expecting on this leg. The varied conditions kept us on our toes and the days have passed quickly.
From the outset, we got into a routine of three and a half hour night watches and regular rest periods throughout the day, interspersed with morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and cake, Happy Hour and dinner. Most nights have been tranquil and it was fascinating to see the new moon gradually become full as our voyage progressed. The moonlight on the water was truly beautiful, as was the phosphorescence that sparkled in our wake. Although we had a few cloudy nights, we also had clear, starry skies when we could see the Milky Way; it is a humbling experience being a small, solitary yacht in the middle of a vast ocean.
As we approached Spain, it was quite a culture shock to see so many vessels in the shipping lanes. Our new toy AIS (automatic identification system) was fantastic, telling us how close they would get to us as well as their call signs, speeds and destinations; it made that night watch just fly by.
are looking forward to stretching our legs on dry land and going for a well-earned beer, but we are also sad that our Azorean adventure is over. We have had a wonderful time and have many happy memories, but the next time we go, I think it will be by aeroplane.