Atlantic crossing. From Bermuda. 8

Wed 6 Jun 2007 16:25
Monday, day before departure was spent reprovisioning and doing final maintenance jobs. Richard and Joel have the French habit of half a loaf of bread with every meal which presents a bit of a problem. Limited fridge space is the controlling factor but we hope to make the outside stores  last as long as possible. Lessons learned on the first leg were useful but only time will tell. The fan belt was shrieking every time we started the engine on the final run up and was found to be badly shredded. None of the belts in the spares kit fitted so entailed a bit of running around to find some. Michel did his action man stuff and dived under the boat to clear the log impeller, also removed some fishing line from the propeller. All done and dusted, fuel and water replenished and customs formalities completed ready for Tuesday am departure. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the island, had a nice rest and are now excitedly anticipating the jump off for the crossing. 
Tuesday, up and off  at 7am. The strong south westerly that has been blowing for the last couple of days has died to 5 knots which is disappointing. Another example of missing the 'sailors wind', go when you have the chance is always the rule. Motored for 5 hours and are now picking up eight to ten on the beam, better than nothing. The island disappeared into the mist very quickly and we are now slopping along in hazy sunshine, Azores here we come.  
The wind improved as the day wore on and by evening we were averaging about 5 knots, not too good for such a large boat but good enough. We spent some time sail trimming, poling out the Genoa etc. which helped a lot. A steady nights sailing resulted in a run of 125 miles by 7am this morning (Tuesday). We are running a shift pattern of 2 hours on up till 10, then one and a half till 4am which seems to be working well. Bit of a roll on the beam which is a little uncomfortable but not too bad.  Michel is a bit frustrated as he is a speed merchant, he has done everything possible to squeezethe most out of the conditions so that's that. All in all a good first 24 hours.  Still no fish !        Manny