Monday morning 2nd July
Sarah Grace goes to sea
Chris Yerbury and Sophy White
Mon 2 Jul 2007 09:53
41 51N 22 45W. T shirts and shorts are things of the past as the uniformly grey sky blocks out the sun and its warmth. It is decidedly cool and the visibility is often poor as the clouds reach down to the sea and fine dampness surrounds us. However we have had a brisk consistent westerly wind sufficient to push us in the right direction at full speed since leaving the beautiful green Azores on Saturday morning. 290 miles covered so far and just over 900 to Plymouth.
It is time to start acclimatising mentally as well as physically to life ashore in the UK. This rather daunting Atlantic crossing has been on the horizon throughout the 2 years away and for the last few months has been the major preoccupation and focus of my energy. Once this leg is completed there will be no more ocean miles to cover, no further weather charts to ponder or departure dates to fret over, boat breakdowns to fix or disaster at sea scenarios to push to the back of my mind. I've just read a book by a woman about her very challenging solo canoe journey down the Niger river through darkest Africa. She finds that freedom comes with the absence of worry- certainly an appealing state of mind that is often elusive at sea.
The fiesta in Terceira has left a deep impression of an enviable way of life on that island. It was a massive community event as Iain has said, put on for the community. Large numbers of people took part in a variety of parades, as well as music and dance performances, competitions of all sorts and displays of local activities and produce. All generations took part from the smallest children onwards and alot of the activities were for children only. A children's version of the running of the bulls was held using small calves for them to tussle with. The large crowds were full of people of all ages chatting and greeting friends strolling by. Throughout I did not see one episode of drunkenness nor a single policeman- unthinkable at public gathering in England. This is definitely a part of the world I would like to visit again.
This watch is now nearly over and as befits the weather, it's porridge for breakfast this morning.