Zephyr's Travels

Vessel Name: Zephyr
Vessel Make/Model: Ovni 395
Hailing Port: Falmouth
Crew: Colin & Rebecca Campbell
14 September 2023 | Playa Blanca, Lanzarote
18 August 2023
11 August 2023 | Closing in on Lanzarote
09 August 2023 | 150 miles off south Portugal
06 August 2023 | Atlantic coast of Spain (Finisterre)
04 August 2023 | Biscay
03 August 2023 | Manacles Buoy
30 July 2023 | Helford River anchorage
26 July 2023 | Helford River anchorage
25 May 2023 | Helford River
28 April 2023 | St. Mary's harbour
09 June 2022 | Ponta Delgado
01 June 2019 | Port Pendennis Marina, Falmouth
24 May 2019
Recent Blog Posts
14 September 2023 | Playa Blanca, Lanzarote

Is there life on Mars?


18 August 2023

Bikes Onboard

With wall-to-wall sunshine, cheap flights and accommodation it’s hardly surprising this place is inundated with holidaymakers. Our UK summer hasn’t really helped with all the storms to encourage people to stay in our green and pleasant land. Instead, they descend here in their droves. Its fabricated [...]

14 August 2023

Arrived Playa Blanca, Lanzarote

We got into the marina late yesterday afternoon after a speedy sail down the east coast of the island dodging the windsurfers and getting an arrival escort of 4 Pilot Whales including a cow and calf. The calf was surprisingly adept at surfing down the swell waves. No pics unfortunately.

11 August 2023 | Closing in on Lanzarote

Friday's Fish Day

One of the many check lists I'm told to do when on watch is to check the rigging using a head torch when it's dark. On last night's check I came across a Flying Fish on the deck of zephyr, Dead. bumped his head on landing I reckon. He was a little beauty.

09 August 2023 | 150 miles off south Portugal

Last leg of this passage, Portugal - Lanzarote

Part of our daily routine is downloading weather grib files, receiving and sending emails to Lucy. who simplifies every thing for mum (Gran) who tends to prefer a more user friendly form of communication i.e WhatsApp. We don't have the technology to go down that road.

06 August 2023 | Atlantic coast of Spain (Finisterre)

Tricky Situation in the Galley

As I'm typing this Zephyr is really rolling! I've managed to recover from being seasick but still struggling negotiating simple tasks on here.

Lost blogs from 2019 AZAB race

04 November 2019
Colin Campbell
We lost the first versions of these posts somewhere in the technical world of satellite comms but here's the gist of it from memory (we'll add some more when we get a chance):

June 1st & 2nd AZAB 2019
Its been a bit of a roller-coaster ride beating out of the western approaches with today the third day of sailing hard on the wind. Finally, the forecast is indicating a few days of more favourable winds. We hear there have been a number of retirements due to boat and gear damage which is not surprising given the testing few days so far.

At the time of writing we can hear approaching dolphins through the aluminium hull which seems to make a good underwater microphone. We've also had a couple of pods of Pilot Whales lazing about watching us go by this morning. We passed the edge of the continental shelf this morning so now properly in the deep blue Atlantic.

Bec has been logging positions of floating plastic debris for the University plastic free Falmouth project and research study. So far, the sightings have been depressingly regular.

3rd & 4th June AZAB 2019
Still getting bounced around with quite fresh conditions still not much in a favourable direction but we continue to make reasonable progress. Appetites are still not 100% so no gourmet meals to report on yet although I did 'cook' a frozen Rowes pasty last night (Bec declined the offering but did manage half a pizza).
We still have visual company with Arethusa (Mervyn Wheatly) just a few miles off our starboard side after we've overtaken each other a couple of times so far.
The boat is holding together well although it looks like the bouncing around has stirred the fuel tank up as the engine died after 45 mins charging batteries yesterday so looks like filter changing when the weather improves. The wind generator is producing all the power we need at the moment including the fridge.
First sighting of a whale spout yesterday evening on the horizon.
The noise of the aluminum hull falling off big waves is quite something at times and is taking a bit of getting used to.

Bec : At last we have a beautiful day of deep blue seas ,sun and wind. First proper day of not feeling seasick or being rolled around in a washing machine! Zephyr carries on irrespective of what ever is thrown at her. We now need to get our heads down and make some headway in our class ranking.
I'm mostly on Whale watch today.

June 5th-7th
The last three days have rolled into one, with big seas and endless squalls meaning we are both feeling pretty shattered. Thank goodness we are getting our appetite back and can eat some hot food.
We decided to start sleeping one hour on and one off through the night. It's funny how your body soon accepts this is the way its going to be. We stay fully dressed in our sailing gear and life jackets ready for action sleeping on the floor of the saloon. This seems to work quite well, allowing us to just wake up and get on watch. Colin probably does a few more watches then me but I make up for it by cooking bacon sandwiches and coffee for him at sunrise.
We have had a small amount of wildlife, Terns, Cory's Shearwaters and a pretty gull, not sure what it was.
The most exciting sighting was a pair of Killer Whales they were just off our stern. They looked like they were up to no good and going to upset some poor pod of Dolphins or some unaware edible marine creature! Still quite something to see them out here.
Colin shouts out "water spout" every now and again sounding like he's spotted Moby Dick. The spout is so far away its hardly worth looking at, I'm not even sure there is a spout of water to be fair.

June 8th
After what seems endless days of beating to windward we are finally on a beam reach creaming along at 8.5 knots. We are roughly 2 days out from Ponta Delgada now and its looking like the Azores High is building right on our track meaning a light-winds finish which should be interesting. We've made the decision to make an approach from the east as that looks to have marginally more favourable winds although it could almost be a toss of a coin.
We've been racing in sight of Arethusa (Mervyn Wheatley's Bowman 40) pretty much since leaving Falmouth and both headed off on different tacks last night so it will be interesting to see who comes in to Ponta Delgada ahead of the other.
The boat is performing brilliantly and we're still finding out how to get the best speeds out of her.
At one point during some boisterous weather we hit some good speeds downwind with the centreboard up and ended up bursting the weak link disc in the rudder hydraulics. The fail-safe design results in the rudder lifting as with a dinghy rudder. Fortunately, it was a quick job to remove the burst disc and replace it.

Day 9 Approach to Ponta Delgada
As it always seems to be the case, the approach to Ponta Delgada was somewhat of a lottery. We chose an approach from the east and stayed well offshore to avoid any wind shadows. This turned out to be no great advantage as we spent a torturous day creeping west in next to no wind.
Once in mobile phone signal range, we were able to pick up the rest of the fleet on AIS and figure out where we were in the pecking order. The biggest surprise was to see one of the Rustler 42s stuck in a hole off the north-west point of the island and the other perhaps a mile from the finish line. As we crept ever closer to Ponta Delgada it was evident that the Rustlers weren’t making much progress. 12 hours later still at no more than 1-2kts we crossed the finish line after a night of tacking backwards and forwards in the bay being denied a finish by the current pushing us away every time we got within spitting distance of the harbour entrance. The Rustler 42 Aliana fared slightly better in the end just sneaking in a few minutes ahead of us.
Homeward Leg
The homeward leg started with light winds that got lighter and lighter resulting in San Miguel and quite a number of the fleet remaining in sight for a couple of days. Once we did find some favourable winds we ended up around day 5 heading into a bit of a hole after which various factors started to conspire against us. The batteries were proving to be in poor condition meaning we were having to run the engine more and more frequently. This wouldn’t normally have been a problem but for the fuel filters needing regular changes due to clogging. Things took a turn for the worse on day 7 when in calm conditions, lightning everywhere and a lot of sail slatting, something managed to dislodge the radar scanner from its mount which hung from the cable for a few minutes before dropping to the deck and saved from going overboard by Bec.
The following day now in thick fog with no radar and in the company of fishing boats just off the continental shelf we decided to call it a day, retire from the race and motor on our way. In all a disappointing end to the venture but a great experience!
Zephyr's Photos - Main
17 Photos
Created 14 September 2023
2 Photos
Created 18 August 2023
13 Photos
Created 2 August 2023
10 Photos
Created 26 July 2023
Pre departure at home and afloat
10 Photos
Created 18 May 2023
3 Photos
Created 27 April 2023
5 Photos
Created 15 April 2022

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