the 1st June 2009.
to you all ,wondering where we are? Well we are still out here, battling
away as best we can to the east. We now have less than seven hundred miles to go
having sailed 1450 n.m. since leaving Bermuda. It has been a constant challenge
for us all; Libertad as usual has performed superbly as have the crew. I am not
so sure about the skipper!
time yesterday we were becalmed on a heavy rolling sea with a four meter swell
from the North West, The forecast had hinted at an intense low to the north
west of us but, predicted the track to go well to the north of 40 degrees, this
low had other plans to visit us. The southern sector was benign with moderate
winds from the W NW then we entered the eye, the rain came down in buckets and
the barometer dropped like a stone, 1:7 mbs in less than an hour. We put baking
and dinner on hold as the seas grew to more than 5 mts ( you know how I can
exaggerate!) maybe 4.5 mts but, they were enormous coming on the port bow and rolling down the leeward
deck, knee deep, taking the port dodger with it. This increase from no
wind to 25/30 knts occurred in less than half an hour. We had the main a genoa
reefed to a scrap, just enough to keep our head to wind, the best course was
driving us to the north east at 6.5 knts.
before dark the VHF crackled into life "this is Seafire,Seafire,Seafire " to the
sailing yacht on our starboard bow? We scanned the horizon to the south and
through the spray, rain and murk we picked out a super yacht making very heavy
weather of it. We made contact on ch 66 and he asked with a very calm
English accent what our destination was? He was also making for Horta in
the Azores, his normal cruising speed was 12/15 knts, he was doing less than
7kts in this wind. We chatted for a while and he asked if we required anything,
I was tempted to ask for a hot bath and a night onboard his boat. He
said that we made a fine sight, reefed down and disappearing into each trough
with just our masthead showing ,we made a poor target on his radar.
Mordecai speculated on the comfort of his bridge deck with large swivelling
captains chair and the green glow of numerous radars and chart plotters around
him and a cup of coffee in hand without tipping it down the gold epaulettes
on his shirt We were letting our imagination run riot, maybe we have been
drinking the sea water again!
disappeared over the horizon to the east saying that he had departed the Florida
coast just a week ago and was bound for the Med ,safe passage Seafire you
relieved me at about 19:00 with the wind still above 20/25 knts from the NE
but veering slowly. I fell into my bunk exhausted having had little or no sleep
for the past three nights, in a comatose state I slept till 03:00 a.m. relieving
Drew, having done the 12:00 to 02:00 am watch.
by this time had become a little better with the wind now in the east at 15
to 20 knts and decreasing. By 04: 00 am we shook out the final reef in the main
and managed a course of 100 degrees.
before my change of watch in the half light of dawn a single dolphin paid
us a visit, squeaked a good morning and sped away with a leap, Today has been
pleasant with some sunshine allowing us to air the cabins and some rather smelly
sleeping bags as well as service two of the Dorade vents that had leaked
badly over night. Guy cooked a fantastic breakfast of Bacon, scrambled egg and
potato cheese cakes, he wanted to do dauphinoise potato but discovered
that Libertad's extensive inventory did not include a piping/icing set
Alore!! Lucien exclaimed ,as he disappeared to the fore peak, returning
triumphantly with a complete cake decorating set, no wonder he had five bags
when he arrived!
have the weather forecast
for tonight is for 20/30 knts again from 18:00 UTC, so we had better batten down
the hatches get some rest and food in us while we can and continue our passage
had a call from a French trimaran outbound from Guadeloupe to Horta
and offered to report our position and provide a met (Grib) forecast. The
French yacht, Austral is also close by and speaking on VHF.I must away, as Guy
has come on watch.
until next time, love and best wishes to you all from the battered,
bruised, but happy crew of Libertad.