During long passages things tend to get uncomfortable. The boat is rolling heavily, sailing on one side. To prevent falling, you always have to hold on to something. The boat is laden fällt and the cabins are packed with a lot of stuff that all tend to move leeward (windabgewandte Seite). Everything is salty or wet or both. The front cabin turns into an elevator, crashing down three to four meters in the waves. It feels like zero gravitation from time to time and sometimes I think about those stories I heard from sailors who so broke their ribs. However, the adventure of crossing the ocean, sailing the ship through wind and waves for days and weeks, a dream for many, is well worth a few uncomfortable moments.
The last days we had good North East or East wind 15-25 kn and more in squalls. Some of them with heavy rain and in the night we used radar to avoid at least thunderstorms (successfully). Sometimes we make 7 or 8 knots against the wind, close haul (hart am Wind) North to North East, but squalls are often followed by calms and winds are variable. Waves 3 m. Two reefs in the main (Großsegel) to be prepared for gusts. Only 8 hours motoring so far, so we have most of our diesel left, which is good. On Wednesday, we expect to enter the calm zone (Roßbreiten) between the easterly trade winds of the South and the westerly winds of the North. At this moment, the crucial part of the voyage begins. Thank you, Ivan, for providing us with valuable forecasts and weather routing advices!
The three sailors Finn, Markus and Uwe after four days on the open ocean. The harmony is good, and the boat managent skilled and easy.
As there are no major technical issues so far, even the skipper relaxes from time to time 😉 The food department is excellent. The best bread we have eaten in weeks, but no fish unfortunatly (even if we had a few fish bite into our lures). Thus, the ripe fruits and vegetables determine breakfast and dinner. Good wind the last few hours (15-20 knots) and good speed even when sailing close hauled (hoch am Wind).
In the night, sailing through the darkness, the moon hidden behind the trade wind clouds, the warm glow of the magnetic compass helps to navigate through squalls (local strong winds) with a little rain and through calms. It leads us North East, to the Azores.
Good wind the first two days (3 to 5 Bft.), but no wind the last few hours (picture). Not enough even for our light-wind sail, the Gennaker. Excellent food from Markus (rice salad), his jokes, flying the drone and an optimistic wind prediction help to keep spirits up.
We are beating through the waves and through the night on close haul (hart am Wind). I feel beaten, too. I had forgotten how exhausted you feel when only sleeping full for three hours in the night and half (still wearing the inflatable vest and shoes) for another three hours.
One hour before sunset, with the best wishes from other sailors in English Harbour, we three sailors Finn, Markus and Uwe set our sails to North-East May 26th. Our mechanical Windvane self-steering works perfect, and the full moon leads the way. 2462 miles to go the direct way, but we expect to go first north and then west, trading in more speed with more miles.