Atlantic crossing day 15
39:55.0N 39:28.8W @1200 GMT 387 miles to go. 126nm progress yesterday.
It’s another hot sunny day here on the Atlantic and we are motoring again over rolly seas. Yesterday we were pretty despondent for a while about the fuel situation and David even contemplated hailing a passing fishing boat and asking to buy some off them. Strong winds are forecast for Friday and we didn’t particularly want to be out in another gale. However, careful calculations seemed to show we could still make it and luckily the calm didn’t last into the afternoon. In fact from 2:30pm until 4am we had a good sail, at first with the gennaker and later goose-winged into the night.
During the afternoon we had our best whale encounter yet when several finback whales surfaced very close to us. David even saw the fluke of one of them whip past the bow no more than a couple of meters away. They are huge, powerful animals. In the distance we could also see numerous very tall waterspouts from their blows.
We both had enjoyable showers in the smooth conditions of the early evening and a conversation on the radio with another yacht. It had called to ask if anyone had any weather info and David had replied and told him what forecasts we had read. It always seems that as you get nearer to your destination, yachts seem to come out of the woodwork and you start worrying that the marina you are heading for will be full! This boat had come from Bermuda from where apparently an east going ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) of 50 boats had also set off the day before. They are heading for Horta on the main island of the Azores (there are 9 islands altogether) and we just hope they don’t divert to our first destination on the nearest island of Flores because they too have fuel worries.
Otherwise our days pass in a drift of reading, sleeping, a little exercise when it’s still enough and too much eating! We are really looking forward now to stretching our legs on some long walks on Flores. It is supposed to be a very beautiful spot. All being well we now expect to arrive on Thursday, just ahead of the next gale.
It seems some of our emails aren’t reaching their destinations so this extra blog might make up for that, and celebrates the purchase for us of some extra satphone time (thanks H).