Atlantic crossing Day 17 - Arrived in Flores
39:22.755N 31:10.162W @0845 GMT 0 miles to go (this leg), 2504 nm done!
It took us 17 days, 17 hours & 45 mins and we had to motor for 27% of the time. We’ve spoken to several boats since arriving and all agree that this was a very slow crossing with winds unusually light. Most started from the Caribbean/Bahamas or via Bermuda so missed the severe gale we had off the Maryland coast.
However, we enjoyed it all, including the gale. The boat performed magnificently in all conditions, seeming to just get on with whatever we told it to. We were expecting her to look after us in a storm and she did, with the motion being quite violent but never worryingly so (at its worst after the gale when the wind & the gulf stream opposed each other). A lesser boat would not have been so much fun. Where she surprised us was how well she sails in light airs. As long as the seas weren’t too rough she sails into the wind down to 7-8 kts but more surprisingly down to as little as 6kts downwind. It took us a while to get to grips with using the asymmetric (big red sail) sheeted to the end of the boom, plus the genoa (pretty big white sail at the front) poled out the other side, but when we got it right we were making 5-6kts with only 3-4kts apparent wind and still moving with only 2kts apparent. Had we got on top of this earlier we could probably have shaved 10-20hrs off the engine time, but we had days on end when the wind was even less than this little beauty can sail in.
The other thing that worked well is the team. As most of you know we have very traditional roles, but it works well on passage - particularly so this time. We seemed to manage to get enough sleep between us (snoozing a lot through the day to catch up sometimes), and that helps. The food was great, the boat sailed well and the company was good too!
Flores is, as we had read, a delightful island and we are in seventh heaven to be somewhere green and hilly with great walking opportunities. Will write more about it in our next blog.