29 June 2019
It’s Saturday, June 29. Six weeks since we left Brunswick, Georgia to cross the Atlantic. Our last crossing, five years ago, from Gran Canaria to Martinique took 21 days and I thought that was a long enough escape from ”normal” life. That time, we had a steady and hard tradewind pushing us over. This time, we have experienced the Azores high pressure system. In the old days it was called ”the horse latitudes” - because when the ships got caught in the no-wind doldrums for weeks their horses would starve to death and get thrown overboard. With reports from other ships about dead horses in the water ... horrible stories and we definately have not seen any horses. Only thousands of the Portugese man-at-war and more dolphins.
The last few days have been a bit worrysome as we had very little fuel left but needed to run the engine to make some kind of speed. We have learned that if we run it at about 1200 RPM (instead of 2200), there is almost no fuel consumption and we still make that extra knot that the windwane needs to work.
But it has not been all bad - we actually had a couple of PERFECT days with sun, steady wind and a balanced boat. Leaning but not rocking. The only problem was that we were leaning to starboard, so I was practically standing up in the aft berth, trying to sleep.
And guess what!? We made landfall today! Finally arriving in Horta, the Azores, after a 17 day long leg from Bermuda. There are hundreds of boats here who have all made long passages so the place has a cool cruising atmosphere. After checking in with marina office, immigration police and customs we went to the legendary ”Peter’s Sports Bar” for a meal and a drink. The saying goes that if you have crossed the Atlantic and visit Horta but DON’T go to this bar, your boat will sink. So I guess we’re all insured now. We will stay here for a while, I won’t even speculate how long ;-)
PS. Another thing we have learned is that a flying fish tastes a bit like a sardine. Pan fried in butter, yum. We just had one to taste, it had recently landed on deck.