Ship's Log

Rebel T
Tim Walsh
Sun 25 May 2008 03:46

Dear One and All

Ship's Time 02.00hrs 25/05/2008

Log shows currently 2518nm from St. Lucia with 238nm to our mark for the
commencement, approach to Horta, Island of Faial, Azores. Flores, the most
westerly Island is some 160nm to the NE of our current position, Rebel being
due west of the main Islands of the Azores as we close with the Acquipelago
dos Acores.

Our progress over the past 4 days has been slow, as we were surrounded by
the moving high which has now appeared to settle to the west of the Azores
Island's. The Barometric pressure is now reading 1016 having moved from a
low at the beginning of 4 day period of 1009, winds have been fitful and
erratic to say the least, with one very brief period of winds suddenly going
from 5-26knots, mean wind speeds have been in the range of 4 to 9.5knots,
barely F2 for most of the time. We have as a result almost used every
combination of sail that Rebel has to maintain a 5 knot average speed
towards destination. And when that has not been possible for the first time
either David or Goliath ( Our two engines) one or the other has been called
upon to maintain progress towards the Azores. Either motor sailing or just
under engine power alone.
A intensely frustrating period for all aboard, when progress up to 700 nm
from the Azores had been good on our passage from St. Lucia. Rebel may have
had a fast (windy) passage out to the West Indies last year, but now the
seas around for the past two days have been almost like the surface of some
giant pond.

Our relief during this time has been a mixture of book reading, listening
to our extensive music collection, boat routine maintenance, engine checks,
boat cleaning, and watching the numerous marine animals that have been
around us. We have had the pleasure of Dolphins swimming on Rebel's bow
wave many times, but the sight of hundreds of dolphins coming from all
directions to assist a pod of dolphins that had circled a shoal of fish was
fascinating, the sight of dozens of dolphins in overdrive as they worked the
fish into a ever tightening circles, leaping out of the water eight, ten,
and more at a time was exhilarating to see. A couple of pilot whales who
passed by obviously with more important things on there minds than a
solitary Rebel motoring along the way. A brief interlude with some more
sedate but equally interesting turtles who appeared between the two hulls of
Rebel, then quite literally hundreds of Portuguese Man of War their Sail
like bodies above the water, almost opaque appearance twinkling in the sun
. but closer up show a distinct purple tinge around the edge of their
bodies, and many sea birds of differing types.Then the finale of the day a
pair of Fin Whales that surfaced some 300 yards off the starboard bow. The
pair of whales then made a huge dive , as we observed them blow below the
surface and that distinct bubble surfaces approximately above their
position, finally surfacing some 1.5 miles down our previous track. This
took place over the space of some five minutes.

Despite our current progress all aboard are well and taking the opportunity
to top up their tans before the advent of a period of work in port to ready
Rebel for the next leg home, whilst still being able to take the opportunity
to stretch sea legs ashore. We have been thoroughly checking over the
ship's cordage for chafe, and other signs of wear, and after the boom
fitting failure, all deck gear, pins, shackles, mast and rigging is being
examined gain with a great deal of care ,in addition to the usual daily
checks. Tim Rebel is I believe despite the distance travelled wearing
remarkable well, and in fine form.

In short I believe one could say that on board life as is the case
everywhere goes on. JON has helped me keep the variety and interest in the
culinary side on this trip admirably, certainly no one seems to appear to
have lost any weight so far.

For now folks that is about all . To the crews families at home and friends
all mobile phones have been recharged in readiness for arrival, closing
with land and civilisation once again. We all look forward to speaking with
one and all, and catching up on all the news.

All Best wishes