Friday, July 22, 2016

Bermuda to Azores Passage

Bermuda to Azores  1170 n mi, 11 days, not bad
Late in the afternoon, on June 9th, we made the rounds of the St George anchorage to say goodbye to some of the other boats and we set off eastbound.  We arranged with some of the boats to participate in an informal cruisers HF net at 1800 UTC everyday, but we had trouble finding them on the air.   Bill and Alan slapped on the scop patches and took some dramamine, Kathi served dinner. 

Bermuda blocks the SE swells, so at first, seas were pretty flat.  Then they start coming together after wrapping around the island making things a little bumpy.  But that gradually dissipated.  And because it was so late in the day, we had a quick dinner and the 2 off watch crew went below to sleep.

Our usual watch system for all 3 legs, was 3 hours watches.  We were all up for dinner and radio weather from 5pm to 7:30pm or so.  Each evening around 5pm, 3-5 dolphins would often make a few passes.

Kathi usually started preparing dinner around 5:30 and tried to have everything cleaned up and put away for the night by dark (which varied as we went east in a time zone, and north in latitude).  That helped reduce clanking dishes and pans.  Then I set up whatever snacks or drinks people would want when coming on watch during the night, to minimize effort and noise.  The motion of the boat and the noise of wind and waves, makes sleep a little difficult.  And the crew sleeps in the main cabin, ie, near the galley.  So we try to minimize unnecessary additional noise.

  • Bill 9pm-midnight, he would often reef before the next watch there seemed any chance it would be needed overnight,
  • Alan or Karl - midnight-3am (Thank you both!!!!)
  • Kathi - 3am-6am
  • Bill - 6am-9am
  • 9am everybody up for coffee and brekkie
  • We were all usually up until after lunch and tried to get good naps in the afternoon.
Wash, rinse, repeat.

Fortunately, we had little rain, and winds were fairly steady in direction and speed, so no drama.
It was good sailing, not too bumpy.  Still, it's challenging to function onboard because the boat moves in all directions and not as predictably as you would hope.

As we neared Flores (pronounced "Floresh"), we had fog and clouds, so the rugged island was barely visible as we approached the morning of June 20th.

Harbor wall up ahead
Jarana at anchor

The tiny walled marina was full, so we had to anchor in the small bay outside with several other boats.  That night the wind really piped up and a couple boats had to reset anchors. Several boats left the marina the next morning, so we were able to get inside and tie to a dock for around $20/night.  Ahhhh, peace at last.

1 comment:

  1. To be nice to Bill, I tried to be up by 8am and either come up and keep him company (if the weathervane was working) or to spell him on the wheel when it wasn't.

    In the afternoon we'd typically swap off every hour or so

    Thank you to Bill for letting me play with Noon sights from 11:30 to 13:00 every day