Pesda Press

Ocean Crossing News

Arrived at Praia de Vittoria on the island of Terceira in the Azores on Saturday the 8th of May. We took 14 days and, due to headwinds, sailed 1500 nautical miles though the shortest distance is 1300 miles from Holyhead.

The first 2 days were spent beating to windward to get out of the Irish Sea. The next two involved sailing close hauled. After that we had more favourable winds and spent most of the time sailing in winds of between force 3 to 5. However, about 400 miles out from Terceira we ran into an incredibly persistant airstream. The barometer stayed up around 1020 to 1040 but we sailed in force 6-7 winds for 4 days and heaved-to for 6 hours at one point for a rest. We then had a few hours of blissful calm only to run into a series of frontal systems and sailed the rest of the way in force 6-7 with one night of force 8.

Quite a baptism of fire! This included a host of little emergencies such as sewing patches on the foresail and (on trying to start the engine to charge the batteries) changing the oil filters and bleeding water out of the fuel system in a force 7. The source of the problem was later fixed by changing the position of the diesel tank vent.

Kath gets a mention in despatches for continuing to produce cordon bleu meals in extreme conditions and Aries (our self-steering gear) was voted the hardest working and most popular member of the crew.

Despite all these trials Kath and I are still talking to each other and neither of us has booked a ticket home. We have just spent a lovely week recovering and exploring the island. Highlight was the local version of a bull run. In this the bull gets to chase the humans and although he is goaded into a rage he isn’t killed at the end of the proceedings. Needless to say I kept a safe distance and Kath between me and the bull at all times!

Unfortunately I have just discovered that I forgot to bring my card reader. As soon as I am able to buy one I will upload some photos.

Tomorrow we are off to Lajes on the island of Pico, weather permitting. The idea is to spend some time looking for whales and exploring Pico and Faial. We also hope to ascend Mount Pico (2035m) which is the highest mountain in Portugal (work that one out).

1 Response to “Ocean Crossing News”

  1. 1 Mark R May 15th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    What an adventure - well done!

    Mark R

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