Gentle beginnings

Position: 39° 48’N 026° 08’W
Wind: SW 14knots
Daily run. 135 miles
Course: 070

We finally tore ourselves away from Horta yesterday morning. We had a lovely sail down to Sao Jorge and admired the precipitous coast that Daisy and I had made intimate friends with (don’t think we would have attempted it had we seen it from the sea first). Then the wind slowly died and reluctantly we turned the engine on. By early evening we were off the inviting coast of Graciosa, beckoning us to pop in until the wind picked up again. We resisted, knowing that next week is forecast to be even lighter and less reliable, and thinking we could easily find ourselves still here in September!

With limited fuel, the last thing you want is to blow most of it in the first 48 hours, so throughout the night we sailed whenever possible and only used the engine when we no longer had steerage. There was no shipping during the night, but quite a lot of yachts to be found on AIS, purple shapes heading our way or further north if making for the channel. And one going in the opposite direction, making a painfully slow 0.75 knots, a straggler from the two handed Les Sables – Azores race, the early finishers from which had been creeping in on Saturday morning. No opportunity to use the engine for those poor bods.

By dawn things were looking rosier as the sun rose in a very clear sky, the sea gently heaved underneath us and the winds began to reach dizzying strengths of 10 knots. We’ve held the wind through the day, making 5-6 knots, fighting an irritating current which will stay with us all the way to Spain.

Crew morale is high on this glorious gentle day, as we slip back into passage making mode – picking up a good book, sleeping two hours during the day, answering Dora’s Nat Geo quizzes (again). I think much patience will be required on this leg but we just have to take each day as it comes, as is always the way at sea.

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