Mindelo, Cape Verde to Horta, Azores - Day 7

JJMoon Diary
Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Sun 4 Aug 2013 15:58
We are well over half way to the Azores – 950 miles sailed and about 510 still to go; four or five days probably.  On the whole we have enjoyed good sailing conditions and have little to complain about except that the winds are northerly to north-easterly and for extended periods we have had between 20 and 25 knots on the nose and that is wearing, to boat and crew.  Despite a well protected cockpit three or four times an hour a large splash gets over the top of the sprayhood: hair gets salty, water collects at the back of the leeward seat and soaks any cushion or unprotected behind; our clothes get damp although it is not wet enough or cold enough to put on foul weather gear.  The companionway steps are wet and the galley floor is slippery.  Domestic life below is a real struggle – climbing up out of bed against the heel every six hours requires so much effort that one is sorely tempted to lie down again and take a rest.  Dressing requires new, specially developed techniques.  These long passages up the Atlantic are not rough or dangerous - so far anyway - but they are demanding.
But it’s much better today – 15 knots, lower swells and no large whitecaps.  Morale is excellent.  Barometric pressure is rising.  We are leaving the area of strong trade winds and coming under the influence of the Azores high.
Another contribution to well-being has been the excellent food the mate has been conjuring up in spite of the handicaps.  To reduce the need for home cooking Mags bought four ready-prepared lasagnas, two meat, two fish, from a fellow yachtie in Mindelo who used to run a restaurant.  They need only to be heated up and are terrific.  Today it’s Malaysian chicken curry for lunch.  Can’t wait.