Day 2: A slow start

Alan & Mary Phypers
Thu 2 Jun 2011 20:32

34:46.2N 61:42.6W

200 miles NE of Bermuda, 1600 miles from the Azores!


We’ve had slow start for our passage to the Azores.  The wind has been very light to non-existent so the engine has been on for the first 36 hours since leaving Bermuda which has used 18% of our precious 500 ltr of diesel!


Fortunately, the GRIB files (weather forecast) have proved as accurate as ever and we now have a 10-12kts of wind from the south which means we’ve been sailing for the last 9 hours and in the right direction with the MPG (Multi Purpose Genoa / cruising chute / code zero).


There’s not a whole lot to report from the last 24 hours, except that we saw a pair of whales yesterday evening about 400 feet from the boat slowly moving in the opposite direction.  They were too far away to identify but they looked quite big!


Like the boats that left before us we’ve encountered lots of Portuguese Men-O-War jelly fish. Alan remembers seeing lots of smaller ones in previous years sailing between Europe and the Azores, but these ones seem bigger.


We are still receiving Bermuda radio over the VHF, even though they are 200 miles away.  VHF usually has a range of only 50 miles, so either our GPS is wrong and we aren’t where we think we are, or there’s some strange atmospheric conditions going on which has increased the VHF range.


It’s probably the latter, because last night we tuned in to ‘Herb’ but no one could get through because the shortwave signal propagation was so bad.  For the non sailors in the audience ‘Herb’ is a chap in Canada who every day speaks to boats crossing the Atlantic and tells them which way to go to get the best weather or avoid the worst.  He’s been providing this service free of charge for over 20 years (talk about a committed hobby) and is something of a legend for those crossing the north Atlantic.  We only have a shortwave receiver so we can only eaves-drop on the advice he is giving other boats, but it’s still useful. 


That’s all for now.  The wind seems to have gone a bit light and main is starting to slam around in a very annoying way......


Alan & Mary

s/y Stella


Position at 1825 UTC:



Wind:               180˚T / 10kts

COG / SOG    073˚T / 5.2kts

1600nm to Horta

200 nm NE of Bermuda