We are now heading due East for Horta and with the wind nearly behind us are
moving along at 6.5 knots. Reasonably comfortable but with a bit of rolling
from the following swell. The forecast for the next couple of days is for a
rising wind in advance of the storm that is racing us to the Azores. The
extra wind, whilst not increasing comfort levels will give us a good speed
and a greater chance of wining the race. Having turned the corner and headed
East we have now cut across Reverie and Callisto's bows and should pull into
Horta ahead of them if the wind holds up. Although its been a record
breaking slow trip we have overtaken everything that left up to a week ahead
of us in the Caribbean so we must have got something right! Reverie and
Callisto left four days before us. We had an interesting chat with Simon on
Callisto today and as he has been to the Azores many times he was able to
us lots of tips on the port and where to park if we arrive after dark. The
plan is to go to the reception and fuelling berth and if we can get
alongside there they will then double bank (raft) on us until we can get
clearance from customs and a berth allocation in the morning. Simon was also
able to tell us that the European ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) had been
in Horta and that probably explains why Anita was having trouble with
flights and hotels. There are apparently 60 yachts that have come over from
Europe for the rally. Fortunately they will all be leaving on Sunday morning
so there should be more space once we arrive. Kuki removed her Scopolamine
patch a couple of days ago because after three weeks they were starting to
produce side effects. As a result she has not been feeling the best today
and the patch is now back on and her disposition is improving so we all
catching it in the neck again. We tried sailing through the night yesterday
with the spinnaker up - something John would not usually do. It lasted until
about 2300 when all hands were needed to recapture it. We had another look
at putting it up again at 0330 but decided to wait for daylight. The sail,
at 2,400 square feet is a real handful if it gets out of control. Anyway it
was back up at daylight and has been pulling us along very well ever since.
Tonight we will retrieve it before dark and then rig the main and 135% Genoa
goosewinged for the night on the wind vane. We may not quite get the speed
that we do from the asymmetric but it will be close provided the wind stays
above 10 - 12 knots. Chicken Korma for dinner tonight - we are fast
depleting all the stores and will need a re supply on arrival Horta. The
extra length of the passage from Antigua has got us really tight on staples,
especially with the specialist eating needs on board and we really should
have added about 30% to the quantities of basics like biscuits and light
nibbles we placed on board - which we thought already had a healthy margin.
Our great good fortune is that Kuki cooked and froze so much before we left.
"Notes from a Small Boat on HardTack" - another beautiful day, flying "Big
Blue" and moving towards our destination.which is now only 273 miles away.
Not much happening today, after a frantic fifteen minutes to dowse "Big
Blue" at 2230 hrs last night we motored through till 0900 hrs. Then we
hoisted "Big Blue" again, although this was complicated by some twists that
had appeared during the night when it was dowsed, but left hoisted and tied
to the foredeck.
As John mentions above, luxuries are fast running out - today the sugar was
finished, we have 3 chocolate biscuits left and two mini snickers bars.
However, our copious tinned and frozen supplies mean that we continue to eat
extremely well - although, we baked our last loaf of bread today and all
that remains after that is some cheese crackers, hopefully without weevils.
The baking provided an amusing incident, when Kuki decided she wasn't up to
it so Charles duly started the process. Of course, he was't doing it
correctly - so it ended up being a collaboration with Kuki giving the orders
and Charles comply with alacrity! Needless to say, with Kuki's careful
control a perfect loaf was baked.
Anyway, another meal has been taken on the Terrace and the crew is settling
down for another beautiful dusk prior to the night watches.