Hi from 41:35.48N 21:46.70W
We had a bit of a one in Terceira on Sunday: Nothing stimulates a yachtsman like the sight of his own boat moving off on her own accord whilst he (along with the entire ship's company) is tucked up in a marina office sheltering from a squall. Such was the case on Sunday. We'd just called into the marina at Terceira to blag some charts off Fia Tira when I noticed that Stromboli had departed from whence she'd been moored and appeared to be heading independently for sea. Having sprinted gazelle-like to the scene it seemed that a bow-line had been carelessly looped over one of those t-shaped cleats on the pontoon and Stromboli, loosed at the head as it were, was doing her best to resume her voyage northwards. Luckily one or two bystanders knew how to help. Of course it would be entirely churlish to point the finger of blame (but the mate was fairly subdued that afternoon).
Out at sea we're still being followed (or is it us that are following?) by a small (is it the same?) group of Petrels. They spend their whole time ultra-low level flying to the extent that it would be hard to insert a ten-thou feeler gauge 'tween wing tip and wave crest'. The big question is - what do they eat? All this buzzing around at zero feet is very wonderful and everything but it doesn't put the daily portion of meat and two veg on the table. They don't seem to dive for fish, flying fish don't come up here so they're off the menu and the Petrels have disregarded any jetsam (dry bread rolls, a whole packet of boat-flavoured Saltines, mouldy fruit etc, etc) we've sent their way. Another Mystery-of-the-Sea, that's what it is.
We met a ship last night. R and I were yarning in the cockpit when the thing burst over the horizon apparently heading our way. In the absence of any sign of avoiding us I called the chap up on the VHF. 'Ship in position so-and-so, this is British SAILING Yacht Stromboli'. (Always stress the word sailing as it offers certain perrogatives on the who-gives-way-to whom scene). What one normally expects is the the chap will say something like, 'Good evening Stromboli, yes we've seen you, sir, and are turning to starboard (or port) to avoid'. This character (a US citizen I think) preferred/insisted on a 'port-to-port* encounter'. (*This isn't a kind of party ashore - it just means that we pass down each other's left-hand sides.) Being British we complied. Of course the wind vane self steering (Molly) had to be disconnected to make the necessary turn and there followed an unhappy half hour of contest between me Molly and Stromboli as to which course/sail trim we should adopt so as to resume our passage northeastwards.
How are we doing? Well, its still the first few days so we're in the sleep-deprivation-getting-used-to-the-motion-of-the-vessel stage. R's been queasy for the last few days but got up and took nourishment last night. The Mate's her usual indestructible self - and doing all the cooking. I've been struggling to sleep so have been grumpier that usual. This leg is certainly no milk run and as we are chasing the coat tails of a low pressure system (to stay in the westerly flow) its not exactly wall-to-wall sunshine. On the southern leg (UK - Caribbean) there's an old adage that one should, 'head south, turning right when the butter melts'). On this leg there should be an adage that one should, 'head north until one develops trench-foot and takes on the faint aroma of a week-long-dead goat.
More soon no doubt, love from two men and the Mate.
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com