Day 9: Azores to the UK
60nm to go to the Isles of Scilly
We are really nearly there. Today has been overcast and gloomy but at least the fog has almost cleared. The wind picked up earlier to over 20 knots so we are now sailing with double reefed main and yankee. We are scheduled to arrive at around 5am tomorrow morning, however, in common with our other night arrivals Stella seems so keen to arrive she speeds up even if we reduce sail so we may still need to stand off before daylight.
Thanks for all the weather forecast information, we are still amazed at how many people read our blog! They are from lots of different sources but on average seem to say the fog will clear tomorrow morning so it looks like we are on for The Scillies.
As predicted it got very rough as we crossed onto the continental shelf and there were lots of boats. It is now very choppy with a fair amount of spray on deck, very cold and there are no boats so we continue to sit below and look out every few minutes.
We have finally been visited by dolphins! As we crossed onto the continental shelf dolphins came and went for most of the night. We can’t believe for all our time in the Azores which is usually rich with dolphins we only see them in the cold grey and damp western approaches to the English Channel. But it was nice to be welcomed into our home waters.
The fog lasted for 3 days which was a bit grim. We had the radar on all the time which uses quite a lot of power so we have ended up using our diesel to recharge the batteries rather than motoring. We have had more wind than forecast on all of the last 3 legs and not needed any of the extra fuel, so as wind insurance it has worked pretty well!
In all this cold damp weather the fleecy blankets we bought have been great. The best €3.99 we have spent. All natural fibres absorb the damp and feel cold whereas they are permanently warm and dry. We are sleeping on a blanket in the aft cabin with two duvets and six pillows lined up against the lee cloth and spare sail so it is very snugly and warm.
Not long to go now, I can’t wait to arrive.
Position at 18:30h UTC Monday 25th July 2012
COG/SOG: 060˚T / 6.0kts
Wind: 310˚T / 16 kts