Terceira to Falmouth

Wed 5 Jul 2006 15:51
We left Angra do Heroismo at 1345 on the 20th of June. We went west around the island as the wind was blowing from the east. We had been expecting to have to go pretty well due north for the first 200 miles or so to get away from the Azores High and get wind but Herb advised us to actually go a bit north west. A couple of yachts had gone out during the morning - Crusader and Grey Goose - and Regina left just before us.
Karolina, Jonathan, Jessica and Leon wave 'good bye' in Angra. They were making for Southern Ireland. 
We spoke with Regina at 0930 and after our sessions with Herb each evening on 8294 khz. All three boats were in sight as night fell but Regina soon raced ahead. The wind was on the nose and we were all motor-sailing.   
Terceira disappears into the evening horizon
Caroline took some Stugeron, which knocked her out a bit, but she still stood her watch and her stomach soon improved. The following evening the wind went round to the east and we started sailing but still north. About 250 miles north of the Azores, Herb advised us to go east to stay south of a developing low pressure system. It was about here that we started talking to Blue Bujun, who had trouble getting Herb to hear their SSB. 
Caroline at the wheel.
We saw plenty of dolphins. One night they came when the moon was low and the phosphoresence strong. They left glowing trails through the water - each punctuated with brighter blobs where they beat their tails. They crossed and recrossed the bow and zoomed back and forth under the propellor. We also saw whales - minkes (probably) and pilot whales and a lot of unidentifiable spouts.
Crusader - another Swedish yacht heading for Ireland. They stayed close for several days. 
After a couple of days going east, we were able to come round to a direct line for Falmouth. We had more trouble with the autopilot and navigation instruments. The fuse holder we'd had replaced in Horta hadn't been fitted well enough but we got it all going again after a bit of fiddling. The fresh water held out well and we were all able to have showers before Falmouth.
Tim syphoning extra water into the main tanks - one of the many fun-packed tasks required on passage
The last day or so was hard work, pushing into a head wind and then there were tides! - something we'd not really had to take account of since leaving Falmouth almost a year ago.
As we came into the Western Approaches, there were more and more ships and fishing boats
Yet again we have been lucky to find an excellent extra pair of hands for the passage.  Caroline probably had to put up with the worst weather of all our crew but she seemed not to mind the cloud and the drizzle too much.  The children really enjoyed having her on board, maybe that was because she kept producing little presents for them and the grown-ups took to her penchant for a Happy Hour brandy.  And to cap it all she let us spend a few days recovering in her cottage near Penzance.  We must remember to ask her again. 
Caroline produced some plasticene as a half-way present for the children. It proved very popular. 
Plasticene art displayed on the compass. Anna's egg and chips was judged overall winner.
Anna working on a picture of dolphins - another of Caroline's presents
Caroline sunbathing on the foredeck.
Coming round Lizard Point, our mobile phone started bleeping as various text messages came in. Grandma, Grandad, Granny and Ted watched us come in from Pendennis Point. By the time we'd got round to Port Pendennis Marina, they'd driven round and were there to wave flags and take our lines. Cousin Robin, who lives in Feoch and his partner, Jane, also came down. They were a very welcome welcoming party. 
Anna and Eddie getting just a bit excited about coming home.
Pendennis Point - somewhere there are 4 Senior Citizens waving flags
Approaching our customary 'Ellen MacArthur position' just below the tower of the National Maritime Museum.   The welcoming party had moved to the balcony under the tower, complete with their Union Jacks.
We got in at 1000. The leg took us 11 days and 20 hours. We covered 1375 miles over the ground.
The grandparents then drove us to Caroline's cottage near Penzance where we had a bath and then Robin, Jane and Jane's daughter Isabel joined us for supper. Caroline, sadly, had to get back to London. Robin gave her a lift to the train. Next time, we'll time our arrival for the beginning of a weekend. 
First night supper in Caroline and Martin's cottage with (from left) Robin, John, Julie, Ted, Shirley, Isabel and Jane.
Outside the cottage
Eddie and Anna working off some post-passage tension on the Winn's trampoline. 
The grandparents have now gone home and we are back on the boat. We've been joined in the marina by a 40-strong contingent of Westerly Owner's Association members. They have all been very friendly and we've been swapping how-to-fix-it tales with other Corsair owners. We've found a small water leak in the engine. Once fixed, we'll get moving. We hope that'll be in the next couple of days.