38:29.5N 28:57.5W Land ahoy!

Anthony Auger / Nico Philip
Sat 19 May 2012 19:45
38:29.5N 28:57.5W

Bearing 098, speed 8.5 knots, wind N 18 knots, under sail, barometer 1028 (the Azores high?), trip 2,251 nautical miles

The home straight

This, we hope, will be our final blog from the Atlantic ocean (for a while, at least!)! Faial and Pico are now clearly on the horizon.

We have enjoyed a fantastic last 12 hours, with the breeze finally backing to the north, allowing SY Apollonia to hitch up her skirt and make a run for land. She must want to watch the champions league final too!

Having spent another damp night in full offshore kit (see photo) beating into the wind, it finally gave us a break around half 6 this morning - we unfurled the genoa and got a move on!

The previous 48 hours had seemed long, the miles ticking down slowly, with a short sea and the breeze on the nose giving us an uncomfortable, damp ride. The loos were throwing their water out, windows letting water in and sleeping anywhere forward of the mast something of a challenge, leaving Jamie, Brett and I hot-bunking on the two sofas.

One highlight was another beautiful blue fin tuna (see pics), which provided sushi and steaks for our final night at sea.

Caption competition

Thank you for all suggestions for the caption competition - more than one person mentioned the looseness of those ridiculous shorts.

Also, a special mention to Mr Auger, Admiral of cruise ship/reluctant trawler/sailing yacht Apollonia, who, despite never having met Jamie, has given him stick the whole way across for looking like Ali G! Haha.

"My name is Jamie David Cripps and I like Batty Boys. Booooooyakasha!"

Editors final word:

Thank you once again Ian for your kind words…..You've been nothing but a sarcastic, domestically neurotic irritant to me for the past 3 weeks and I can't wait to hand you back to Rachel. Only now do I understand why she is so accommodating to getting rid of you for 3 weeks at a time….. In all seriousness, despite frustrating wind conditions, we have had a great trip and all got on brilliantly. As we unfurled the Genoa this morning allowing us a rare day of proper sailing (with wind and everything), I couldn't quite decide whether the wind was taking the piss or doing us a favour.  To say it has left it late is an understatement, but rather than dwell on what might have been, I'll settle for it being the perfect way to end the trip. The sun is shining, the wind is in our sails and we are rapidly approaching the lush and dramatic coastline of Faial. Without meaning to sound too dramatic myself, you'll have to believe me when I say that the the Island looks beautiful, and after 3 weeks at sea I can't wait to set foot on land and safely use a proper toilet!

Thanks for reading, and I hope the blog has been both a source of reassurance and amusement to our friends and loved ones. 

Lots of love from all of us aboard Apollonia. See you back in Blighty shortly….