Finally the number of our latitude exceeds the number of our longitude and
we have turned east for Horta which is now about 400 miles away. There was
little wind overnight and we motored until shortly after dawn when we
hoisted the spinnaker. As it became light we found that we had two yachts
for company that had obviously not been carrying lights. We do not know who
they are as we have been unable to contact them. One is a catamaran and the
other a monohull. The cat has pulled ahead of us in the light airs whilst
the monohull has fallen out of sight astern.Reverie and Callisto are still
becalmed some 80 miles to our south east They are also 400 miles from Horta
but now that we have reached the northern most point of our track we now
have the wind and equally important the Azores current behind us giving us
an additional three quarters of a knot. We and a storm which is behind us
are now racing for the same bulls eye of the Azores. We are currently
scheduled for Monday and the storm for Tuesday so its going to be an
interesting few days. Meanwhile at our current location it has been a
beautiful clear day with an almost cloudless blue sky and we spent this
morning cleaning the cockpit area and decks. We are now starting to think of
work we can get done whilst at sea rather than using our time in Horta.
There is not a lot to do as Kuki is running a pretty tight ship. It is
mainly the deck and topsides and that is just a result of weather and salt.
The foredeck as usual has taken the brunt of it and we will have some rust
stains to clean off the bow once we are in port. The list of voyage repairs
needed is minimal as we have managed to complete most as they occurred.
"Notes from a Small Boat Flying Big Blue" - as John mentions above the wind
came back this morning, still light at 7-10 knots but enough to fly "Big
Blue" and so we have progressed at a steady, if not so fast, 5 knot average.
"Big Blue" was quickly hoisted this morning, only to find the wind was too
light. So down it came, then back up it went - anyway, second time lucky.
However, it has proved exciting flying it today, as the wind has backed a
few times leading to us having to tack the sail twice. The first time
proved exciting as one of the sheets was caught around the genoa sheet, and
the whole chute twisted itself in a knot. After some tense moments of John
helming, whilst Charles scampered about clearing lines the boys managed to
balance the sail on the port bow. The second time occured whilst John was
taking a siesta and the wind suddenly backed, Charles was left fighting with
the helm at the same time Kuki got John up, anyway after a bit of teamwork
"Big Blue" was back on the starbaord bow.
Budda has again lost his inner calm today, with his chakras becoming
misaligned with the ongoing wind issues. So there has been a recurrence of
Cranky Mini Budda, like the rest of the crew John is now definitely looking
forward to arriving in Horta and hopefully before the predicted storm.
With the extension of the passage, as has been previously mentioned, some
vital (luxury items?) have been finished or are extremely close to being
finished. The hot chocolate has already gone, as have the crisps, we are
down to the last packet of biscuits etc. Charles has kept a sharp on the
food stocks and for this has now earned the unfair title of "Food Gestapo."
But what can he do when he fancies a Herschey bar, and knowing that he has
shared 2 of the 3 bars with John goes to get the final bar - only to
discover it has gone. Now Kuki doesn't eat chocolate, clearly it wasn't SC
Ted which only leaves Budda, and his protestations of innocence are
unbelievable after he has single handedly finished off numerous packets of
biscuits, cashew nuts etc.
The other amusing incident of the past few days has been that John has
started wearing a baseball cap - not a comedy moment one might think. But
one must appreciate that when he puts it on sideways, is wearing shorts,
white ankle socks and deck shoes he looks like an overgrown aging "Just
William." And do not worry, there is photographic evidence.
So as the sun sets, the moon rises and the crew of SY Osprey spend another
dusk enjoying the evening air on the terrace "Big Blue" continues to fly
carrying us towards our long awaited destination.