Yesterday was the most challenging day of
this trip. As the wind dropped we started to motor sail but Kahia would not
pick up more than 4 knots of SOG (speed over the ground). Paul’s concern grew, we
stopped the engine and he snorkelled under the hull but nothing was wrong with
the propeller. I had noticed that he had not thrown some let over food over the
water before gently gliding into it and that he was quick coming back on board.
It was no time to feed any shark lurking in the unknown waters.
Being over 500 nm away from land with
doubts on the engine performance and fuel consumption, we discussed all kinds
of way forward, Paul studying the last Grib file (Weather info) section by
section. It didn’t help to see a low forming over the Azores in the coming
days... We tryed to sail unsuccessfully at several occasions and once lost our steerage
causing Kahia to spin around 360˚. What a disconcerting experience!
With engine back on trying to make
good our drift caused by the current, we realised the bubbly sea and wondered
if we could be in an eddy or where the current split... By the evening our
watch system was completely up the creek and we were tired and decided to head
off to Lisbon, running off down wind and playing safe. After five minutes of
feeling the disappointment we turned around and motor sailed toward St. Miguel
426 NM away. Restarting a two-hourly watch system to recharge ourselves gently,
we entered the darkest night of the trip, with heavy clouds, head winds and
What a relief, when at 0400 hrs UTC
rainclouds (the cold-front of the depression we motored through) brought enough
wind for us to start sailing again.
Kahia is now living up to her “Bowman” reputation,
is well powered up with 1 reef in the main sail, full stay sail and partly furled
fore-sail, beating to windward at 6-7 knots SOG, in a very comfortable and
We are adjusting to life at an angle down
Very happy to be on our way to the
Azores with only 349 nm to St.Miguel, now sailing over a deep azure blue
sea in lovely sunshine.