Friday 24th April - Adam's birthday Days 16-21 Wedsnesday 29th April

Michael & Amanda Dyer
Sat 30 May 2009 17:46
Adam is 24 today! 958Nm to go. Sea much smoother. Let out one reef in
main and unfurled yankee. Wind now veered to south so steering 073 degs.

Day 17
837Nm to Horta. Checked batts and v low 12.07. Started engine. Wind
veered to south sw so freed sheets and steering 070 degs. Shook out
second reef as little wind by 1500. Made bread and had corned beef and
tomato sarnies with last tomato! -scrummy. Engine on 1500 after
checking oil and pumping sump. Cruise ship overtook on portside.
Sunshine this afternoon and sea calmer than for days.

Day 18
Wind picked up increasingly in night so by dawn we were overcanvassed.
Lowena had her lee rail underwater! We were hitting the waves with loud
crashes and thumps. At 0400 we reefed the main to 2nd reef and the wind
increased further. The barometer had risen from 2025 to 2027. We
hurtled along at 6.5k. Dolphins (small Atlantic), came and said hello
and swam with the bow wave for a while and we had a chat.
The battery was getting low so we ran the engine. We reefed to third
reef and motored for 13/4 hrs until 1800 when we had just enough light
to set the sails again. We averaged 5.5k all night with the wind
veering gradually.

Day 19
616Nm to Horta. We have sailed 2000Nm since leaving Antigua now. The
wind is set to continue from the south today and gradually decrease and
veer tomorrow. It will be an average of 10k from NW. I think we might
be on the edge of the Azores high.

Day 20
Shook out all reefs but it soon became clear there was no wind.
Engine on at 1000 all day except to stop for an hour for our evening
meal and give engine a break. Changed Waypoints to A6 with 488Nm to go.
Saw dolphins and a red buoyancy ring floated by. A survey boat passed
and two further ships in the night. Motored all night.

Day 21
Switched off engina at 0430 to check oil etc and catch up on some sleep
for an hour. Handsteering is v tiring. The batts are well charged up
again. Had an amusing spell when we thought a cruise yacht turned into
a flotilla of yachts. The sea was so flat we thought they had launched
the deck boats and were going in search of dolphins and whales. After
imagining some might roar over to see us it got closer and turned out to
be a very long oil tanker heavily loaded and going very slowly.
I think we have been at sea too long!
A westerly swell set in around 1700 and the atlantic rollers began of
the gulf stream. We motored all night. I saw a whale surface just
before dark. At 0243 we had 300Nm to go.