Day’s run: 113
Speed: 5.3 knots
Yesterday evening, whilst mummy and I were making supper, daddy shouted that he’d seen a whale so we all dashed up on deck and waited we didn’t see anything so mummy and I went back to cooking then daddy shouted again. This time we saw it a huge arched back dive slowly back into the water it must have been at least the size of our boat but it was much bigger. The second time it popped back up it’s dorsal fin was at least a boat length away from its blow hole. The whale was a deep navy in colour and was extremely slow it wasn’t a humpback whale we knew that because daddy has seen many of them. We decided it was either a fin whale or a blue whale. After it had gone we decided it was too big to be a fin whale so it was a blue whale. The biggest creature on Earth. I feel honoured to have seen one as they aren’t very common. Today, nothing as exciting as that has happened. We will keep you updated.
Position: 40.58’N 23.30’W
Day’s run: 146 miles
Today, it rained all morning but at lunch the weather began to perk up and at the moment it’s rather nice. Most of the oil skins have dried out but we are expecting more rain with in the next 30 minutes. Though we are hoping that it won’t rain and the big grey cloud behind us is just going to pass through. The day has been rather free from any calamities and we hope nothing awful happens on this trip. We are expecting to arrive in Spain on Sunday or Monday. We will keep you updated. Dora
The other day, my mum and I went to the Horta museum on the island of Faial in the Azores. The museum was about the history of Horta including the building of the port. Horta is the main port in the Azores with a marina, fuel, water and a very sheltered anchorage it is a great place to stock up on the necessities. The Horta museum had an exhibition about a man who’s name I can’t remember who creates the most amazing sculptures out of the wood inside of the fig tree. The wood is very light and delicate so when he was creating his art he had to tie a cloth around his mouth so his breath wouldn’t break the sculptures.
Examples of fig tree carvings.
There was another exhibit about the pipes under the sea which where used to relay morse code from England to India stopping of at islands where the code would be tapped down another pipe on its journey to reach its final destination. This was a good and fast way to send messages as mail could take up to 6 weeks. Dashes and dots took the same speed to travel so it gave a clear morsecode message to the people who needed the information.
The process of writing was long as you had to first perfect the message then write it into morse code on a thin strip of paper after that they had to punch in the holes the holes are read by electro magnetic feelers. Which would read the message and give a clear answer. And that is how important long distance messages were transported I hope you have found this blog post interesting. Dora
After a lovely stay on Flores we sailed 130M SSE to Horta, the port of Faial in the central group of the Azores. One of the traditions for yachts anchored or moored in the harbour of Horta is to paint a small plaque on the sea wall.
Daisy took charge on our behalf and here’s what she came up with.
Horta is dominated by the 2400m peak of neighbouring island Pico’s volcano which looms over us, sometimes lost in cloud but always reappearing huge and imposing.
In a maths lesson we estimated that from the top of Pico the horizon would be 100M away and you’d be surveying over 30,000 square miles of sea, more than the area of the island of Ireland- as well as all the islands in the central group – in the most unlikely event of the atmosphere being clear enough to see 100M!
We’ve been walking a lot around the many calderas (old volcano cones) on Faial, here we are on a small one near the port.
We thought its inside would make a good anchorage in settled weather.
But the swell breaking on the outside was a bit scary!
We also went for a big walk on Saturday, here’s a clip of Faial’s main caldera at the top of the island – it’s only about 1000m high so a tiddler compared to Pico but big enough to be a 7km walk round the rim.
Today we’re all hard at work boat cleaning, polishing the bright work. More soon, Dora & Daddy
Yesterday, we all went to a whaling museum in Santa Cruz, Flores. Where we found out many interesting facts about whales and whaling. Whaling, was a rare event as t wasn’t very often that the people on look out spotted a whale. To let the whole island know a whale had been spotted someone near the look out tower would set off a rocket as if to say ‘Let the hunt begin!’. The whalers would gather in Lajes and drag their whaling boats out of the shed and into the water each boat had 7 oars, 6 paddles, a sail and a mast ( the mast was detachable.) they would row to where the whales had been spotted and wait. When they spotted a whale they would host the sails for a faster and quieter approach then the harpooner would throw his harpoon and began to stab the whale. Eventually, the whale would die and they’d drag it back to shore collect what they needed sell it and wait for the next whale hunt. I found the museum rather depressing as we watched a video from 1974 of a whale hunt. I found it hard to watch them kill an innocent whale and then just chop it up and sell it.
After the whaling museum, we slowly walked to an amazing play ground with a zip wire we played around for a while. After that, we went out to lunch in another museum cafeteria. I had a lovely Portuguese soup and a cheese toastie Daisy and Mummy had a tuna baguette and Daddy had a ham and cheese toastie. Sadly, we had to leave early as Daddy’s hay fever was coming back. We had a lovely day in Santa Cruz. We will keep you updated. Dora.
Position: 38.07’N 35.20’W
Day’s run: 162 nautical miles
Wind: SSW 18-22
Last night we had an amazing show of dolphins! There were about 100 of them and we saw them doing the most amazing tricks. Jumping really high and landing on their backs and spinning in the air it was incredible. Here are a few facts about dolphins:
1. Dolphins are some of the most intelligent creatures. Scientists are trying to decode their language.
2. Dolphin pods vary in sizes they can be as small as 20 or as large as 200 dolphins. The one we saw was about 90-100.
3. There are more than 20 different species of dolphin!
4. The strongest adults are at the front of the pod with the teens round the outside protecting the older and younger dolphins in the middle. The dolphins take it in turns “nannying” the youngest dolphins once they can cope without their mothers.
The Portuguese men of war are getting larger and more colourful. Daddy was pulling in the tow generator, which had some tentacles wrapped round it, and got stung! Luckily, he’s all right and it was just a slight tingling. All is well here hope all is well every where else. That’s all today.
Position: 36.01’N 052.18’W
Wind: SSW 12-13
Boat speed: 6.5 knots
Today we have had lovely weather sun and wind and we have seen many more Portuguese men of war. Earlier, Daisy and I created an iMovie about a super hero, Tiddlezz, (yes it’s spelt with z’s)and the villain, ratatouille the evil rat, which was very entertaining. We’re roughly 1000 miles away from the Azores! Nothing much has happened since yesterday. We are sailing along at a steady 6 knots. The main sail, Genoa and Mizzen are all rigged. The sea has calmed down a bit so it’s more comfortable. That’s all from me today.
Position: 35° 26’N 055° 30’W
Wind: SSW 10-11
Daily Run: 170 miles
Today, for the first time it hasn’t rained! Though we have entered an area with a very small amount of wind we are lucky to be sailing at 6 knots without the engine. We’ve hung up all our oil skins and they are finally dry. It’s so nice when you’ve had lots of rain for it to stop for just one day so you can dry everything and have the hatches open so you can breathe.
During the rain, we have all the hatches shut so it creates an extremely stuffy atmosphere. Daisy is the only one complaining about the sun she prefers sailing in the rain. We are all well and nothing bad has happened we found out what was wrong with the battery so all is well.
Ps from Polly. The period from 1730 to 2030 was the heaviest persistent rain I’ve known. Daisy collected an entire bucketful of rain water in the cockpit (most directly though some running off the cockpit seats). On the back of the boat we have a dan-buoy – a safety device that you throw into the sea if someone goes overboard. The dan-buoy is only supposed to trigger its light/inflation when immersed in the sea but last night it got so saturated it started flashing away in its holder on deck.
Pictures from when the sun finally came out. Including amazing double rainbow.
The Bermuda Triangle stretches from Bermuda to Miami then to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The triangle is a scalene triangle. The water inside is uncharted meaning no boat has drawn a chart in the area. The Bermuda Triangle is a whopping 500,000 square miles! The first reports of strange happenings in the Bermuda Triangle were seen by Christopher Columbus when he reported seeing a huge fiery flame crash into the ocean when he was passing through on his way to discover America. The fireball was likely to be a meteor. In March 1918, the Bermuda Triangle got a lot of attention when a navel cargo ship called the USS Cyclops sank in the area. The weird thing about the sinking was the USS Cyclops had the ability to send out an SOS signal however no signal was sent. In 1941, 2 ships with the same design as the USS Cyclops went missing in the same area. Strange.
One of the most famous stories about the Bermuda Triangle is Flight 19. Flight 19 was a group of 5 Grumman Avenger torpedo bombers. When they were flying over the Bermuda Triangle they lost contact with the US navy and all 14 pilots and 13 crew were lost and no one knew where in the Bermuda Triangle they went down. Flight 19 took place on the 5th of December 1945 only 74 years ago and today people still wonder where they are and what happened to the planes of flight 19?
Sadly for us, nothing out of the ordinary has happened in the triangle. The only thing that went missing was Daddy’s sense of humour when there was no wind. Tomorrow we set sail for the Azores and we’re on our way home!
A map of the Bermuda Triangle
The USS Cyclops before it went missing.
The crew and pilots of flight 19 this is the last picture of them.
Post script. Ed. The author with her first hair cut in 4 months.
Position: 28°01’N 063°57’W
Wind: ESE 15-18 knots
Day’s run: 157 miles
Over the last two days we have had a lot of rain and I mean, a lot. At the moment, we have 279 miles until we get to Bermuda! We are not in the Bermuda Triangle yet but it certainly feels like it.
The sea is quite uncomfortable today but we are all managing. Daisy and I have been dangling our feet over board and kicking the water at each other. School so far has been alright. I’ve been doing a lot of maths. We’ve rigged the Genoa, The Main Sail and The Mizzen. Our speed over the ground is averaging 7 knots, which is quite fast for us, considering our average speed is 6 knots! We will keep you updated.