The Tortoise and the Hare

Paul Huntley
Thu 4 Jun 2009 10:45

38:41N 36:16W

Thursday 4th June 2009

Good morning to you all, this is our fifteenth day at sea since leaving Bermuda, now 1800 miles to our west. We are running very slowly under main and spinnaker to the east at 3/4 knots.

Our run from noon Tuesday to noon Wednesday was a respctable166 nm.but since lunch yesterday; we have been virtually becalmed with the wind mainly from the north or west but only 3/7 knots. Giving us only 49 n.m to 07:00.Hrs this morning. We have been using the engine in short burst for couple of hours, but we are down to our last tank and that is now only a little over half full which we must save for the approach to Fial and Hortra.

Life on board is at least relatively comfortable apart from the constant roll through sixty degrees causing the sails to slat and the boom  attempting  to gybe on every roll.

About ten boats have arrived in Horta, mainly the larger yachts, we are stuck almost at the back of the fleet with about half a dozen yachts of a similar size including another Hallberg Rassy 42 called Viva skippered by a German lady who is completing the World ARC returning home after nearly two years at sea. 

We speak to them on a daily basis via the SSB net and collect the positions of other boats. The sun is rising earlier each day, we are all still on Bermuda time and will not put our clocks forward until we reach Horta, but it does mean that dawn comes before 04:00 and sunset at 20:00 hrs

We still have food and water so as long as we can make it in the next few days we should not have a problem. Some of the other yachts have had serious problems, one found the the main engine was vibrating off the mountings, another had a failure on the auto pilot and the alternator disintegrated. We should count ourselves very fortunate, we are all well and in good spirits and Libertad is in fine fettle. Lucien is still baking bread on a daily basis, Mordecai spends most of his time gluing his sandals together, he claims they are the only pair he has, so he must fix them, Drew when awake is eating us out of boat and home, any leftover’s at dinner are sent in his direction, he also has the ability of being able to sleep at any time of the day and in almost any weather.  

We were passed by a large freighter in the night, going west and we still enjoy the occasional visit from dolphins, Last night on watch a clump of phosphorescence the size of a football floated by, I have seen vast areas of off the coast of Portugal, in the north east trades but never in this form, it was glowing an intense white as if you had thrown a bright light overboard. We are also surrounded by Portuguese men of War, these jelly fish roam the ocean with a jelly sail held above the water and a meter or more of tentacles trailing behind, the sail is iridescent blue to pink, I wonder how these strange creatures fit in to the evolutionary jigsaw.

Well enough of my cerabel wanderings, we are all fine and looking forward to the first beer and a good meal in Horta before victualing and refuelling for the next leg cruising the Azorean Islands.

Best wishes from us all aboard Libertad Guy, Lucien, Mordecai, Drew and Paul.