Saturday 19th May 2018
0442: 37° 42.0”N 57° 00.1”W Hove to
I’m stationary in mid Atlantic. Been here hove to since midnight, when I finally gave in to fatigue.
It all went to hell in a handcart sometime late yesterday afternoon, an hour or two before sunset. Georgina had the helm in rough seas and 20 knots wind on a broad reach. I’d taken in the pole earlier and lashed it onto the pulpit, still clipped on the mast for possible future need.
|Hove to Mid Atlantic - pole lashed onto pulput|
There clearly had been a second whale, probably making violent contact on the port side while diving. It was only gradually that the extent of damage became clear. Firstly, Georgina was down, so my immediate task was to take the wheel and get back downwind, with no opportunity to check the rest of the boat. It quickly became apparent that she wasn’t handling properly. The forestay seemed excessively slack and the genoa had taken on a strange shape. Then I saw the missing sliders and a small tear down the luff of the main; the luff had lost its tension and the lazy jack on the starboard side was flapping loose on the wind. Standing up on the stern for a better look, I banged my head on something in the bimini.
It was my radar antenna, broken off its post and dangling there by its cable. It was then I noticed that the dinghy had filled with water and was only slowly draining through the open bung; the weight of water had caused the outer rear sling to pull itself free of the transom. I was about to lose the dinghy, so I wheeled over to take her upwind, and quickly sheeted in to heave to. Now I had time to see to the essentials and check for further problems.
My biggest concern at this point was the state of the rigging, but first I got some extra lashings around the dinghy. I also needed to get that radar dome out of the bimini before it did any more damage. It was too rough and dangerous to manhandle the heavy beast inboard, so I chopped the cable and jettisoned it, watching sadly as it floated away. While up there I saw why the bimini frame had been vibrating so madly since the whale strike; three blades were missing from the wind turbine. Nothing to be done about that yet, a job for later. By now it was getting dark, and the boat was pointing west on the northerly wind, making 3 knots in the wrong direction. I managed to tack her over and point her east-ish, so at least what progress we made was the way I wanted to go.
I’d shipped a lot of water down into the saloon, and spent the next two hours baling out with hand pump and bucket. Then, too exhausted to eat, I collapsed into my (sopping wet) bed, and slept through until now.
So here we are, about to get going again. I’ve just noticed the saloon table top is grinning at me like Mutley; and I realise it has been crushed by the wood cladding around the post that supports the mast step. A shocking discovery; and explains why all the rigging has gone slack.
Georgina is still out of action, receiving no data from the fluxgate compass. I can only assume water got into the control box and is corrupting the contacts inside.
It is now calm, with little wind; have I wandered into the Azores High, or it has wandered into me? Either way, I need to make ground north, or I could be drifting here for days.
1130: 37° 50.3”N 56° 56.5”W Co 030 Sp 6
Close hauled into an easterly breeze. Overcast and raining. I calculate there’s a low to the south of me, so I’m heading north to pick up more favourable (but probably rougher) conditions.
1345: 38° 00.1”N 56° 57.1”W Co 030 Sp 6
Frustrated and worried. Have managed to balance the sails to let her sail herself with the wheel lashed. But the rig is giving me real concern now. The lee shrouds are slack as a witches tit, rattling around on the chain plates. The mast leans awkwardly to leeward, and the forestay flops around dangerously, making the genny shiver and quake.
I’ve also spent the last hours trying to analyse what happened to allow the mast to drop like that. The most worrying explanation is that the keel has moved. I just can’t think of anything else, and that yawning gap in the saloon table is getting bigger. I would like to tighten down on the shrouds and backstay, but worry that this will increase downward forces on the keel. I keep re-reading the instructions on my EPIRB, and wondering if I should take it up into the cockpit with me. If the keel drops off, we’ll capsize immediately, and that’s game over. If the mast comes down, it’s survivable if help arrives with a few hours. Nothing on AIS, though.
1800: 38° 15.0”N 56° 55.8W Co 030 Sp 5
Wind still easterly at 20 knots. I realise on our current heading we could reach Halifax, NS in about 10 days. But the weather up there is likely to be stormy and dangerous, so I quickly discard that idea.
2205: 38° 26.9”N 56° 44.0”W Co 040 Sp 4
Blessed oblivion of sleep. Spirit holding on and steering herself.
Sunday 20th May 2018
0230: 38° 36.0”N 56° 28.5”W Co 045 Sp 3.8
0730: 38° 41.3”N 56° 10.0W Co 090 Sp 3
Massive creaking noises from somewhere deep in the hull. Under the wrecked table. Afraid to touch anything to investigate. After all, why would I want to know if I’m about to die? Ignorance is bliss.
1110: 38° 44.6”N 55° 45.2”W Co 090 Sp 6.5
Water pissing through the saloon hatch. It leaked a little before, but the distorted coach roof has made it much worse. Bedding and clothes soaking wet.
1320: 38° 45.0”N 55° 26.7”W Co 090 Sp 6.5
AIS is playing up, constant error messages and beeping alarms.
1815: 38° 35.4”N 54° 49.5”W Co 150 Sp 6.5
Self-steering no longer viable. I need to revert to hand-steering.
2100: 38° 35.7”N 54° 25.2”W Hove to.
Had enough of the vibrations from the asymmetric wind turbine, so I’ve tethered it. Noticed a couple of bolts have shaken out of the gantry, and one of the sprayhood struts have snapped. Poor old girl’s falling apart.
The good news is that the wind and current are in our favour – despite being hove to we’re making around 2 knots eastward.
With having to heave to so often, I calculate it’ll take at least two weeks to reach Horta, the nearest port where I can get repairs done.
For the first time since I commissioned Island Spirit back in Greece, I feel alone and scared.
Mon 21st May 2018
1415: 38° 50.2”N 53° 09.3”W Hove to.
Hand steering all morning and needed a break for food.
1240 miles to Horta – 11 more days if I can average 5 knots (in the right direction).
1915: 38° 50.1”N 52° 38.5”W Hove to
Horrible afternoon, winds gusting 35 knots, monstrous sea. Knackered! Going to bed.
Tuesday 22nd May 2018
0835: 38° 54.6”N 52° 20.3”W Hove to
Woke up to a cold drizzle, wind now reduced to 10 knots. During last night’s gale the mainsheet shackle failed, sheet pulled all the way through the block and hanging in the water, boom flapping out to leeward. All fixed now, including temporary repair to vang line and re-securing of lazy jacks. Also, on going forward, discovered genny pole adrift from it’s lashing on the pulpit, and somehow had become unclipped from the mast. Lucky not to lose it; found it wedged between shrouds and coach roof. Must have made hell of a racket, but obviously lost the cacophony of the storm. Also, relashed the danforth anchor, which also looked in danger of breaking loose.
About to get underway - planning a close reach, port tack.
1105: 38° 53.6”N 52° 09.2”W Co 090 Sp 5.5
Once again the old girl’s sailing herself with a bungy strap on the wheel, though not always reliable and needs watching.
First sunshine in three days, and morale improving. Autopilot still out of action - although now receiving fluxgate data, the compass itself remains unstable.
That north wind is cccccold; wearing salopette, seaboots, and Musto jacket.
1408: 38° 55.1”N 51° 52.1”W Co 090 Sp 4.8
2100: 38° 46.3”N 51° 06.5”W Hove to
1050 miles to go. Only made 74 miles today; not good. Started rationing drinking water to 1 litre per day.
Wednesday 23rd May 2018
0620: 38° 34.8”N 51° 00.7”W Hove to
Just an aside, Dear Reader, you’re probably wondering why my log entries so often find me hove to, rather than getting on with it. The truth is, the only time I get to update the log is WHEN I’m hove to. The rest of the time I’m on the wheel. So trust me, I want this horrible passage over with as quickly as possible, but I do need food and rest from time to time.
Right now the wind is from 120°, so I can’t proceed east until it veers more southerly, hopefully in the next couple of hours.
Made another alarming discovery last night; the engine bilge was full of water. Investigation found the stern gland badly leaking when engine running. Baled out 5 buckets of water, and managed vent the leaky gland by giving it a couple of firm squeezes. Air had got into the cooling jacket after the last haul out. I was sure I saw to it then, but obviously not diligently enough. Silly mistake I won’t make again.
This morning I also repaired the mainsheet clutch-block that has been playing up since the aforementioned failure of the shackle. Replaced a broken split-pin with a nut and bolt, and that seems to have done the trick.
While it’s relatively calm I’m going to put two cans of fuel into the tank – that should top it up to 80 litres once more.
Fluxgate compass still duff – hunting drunkenly around the compass card.
0950: Tank topped up, good to go. Wind slowly coming round.
Just had radio contact with MV Singelgrach and got a wind forecast: S-SW, 15kts until 27th. South is good for self-steering. SW is also good, but means I’m slaved to the helm. I also reported the problems I’d been having, and my worries about the mast and keel. She offered assistance, but there’s not much they can do except take me off – not an option while there’s a good chance of making Horta. I just wanted someone to know what happened in case I don’t. So many boats just disappear without explanation.
1100: 38° 38.9”N 51° 02.1”W About to get going close hauled on a north-easterly heading, hoping wind continues to veer as forecast. Been a hard morning’s work (had to bale out more water from the bilge, as wel)l. So I’m banking on getting her balanced for self-steering.
1130: Just as I was getting going a yacht appeared out of nowhere and passed close astern. S/Y Team Brunel, a research vessel off to the ice fields. Exchanged greetings.
1200: Gosh, it’s getting pretty crowded. Tanker MV Frio passed a mile to starboard. Encouraging to see so much shipping about.
Another lovely day; a few fluffy clouds, wispy cirrus higher up, plenty of sunshine. Wind SE at 15 knots. sailing close hauled with helm tied off – she’s holding it well; giving me time to write this, gaze out at the sparkling sea, and even nip below to make a cuppa. Feeling strangely elated after recent troubles.
1604: 38° 45.7”N 50° 29.4”W Co 100 Sp 5.5
Smashing jarringly in to an increasingly lumpy sea. Container vessel Zeeland Washington sighted.
2022: 38° 42.1”N 50° 00.0”W Co 150 Sp 5.5
1000 miles to Horta!
Been steering all day with wheel lashed. Very good, but now wind has shifted south west; I have three choices: 1. Carry on as we are and accept making ground south, 2. Heave to facing east and let wind carry us north east at a knot or two, 3. Hand steer a broad reach overnight. Decisions…
I’ll decide after dinner (tinned food now; Campbells “Sirloin Steak with Hearty Vegetables” with powdered mash.
2228: 38° 36.4”N 49° 48.7”W Hove to
Remaining here overnight, making 3 kts to the north east – not bad, eh?
Thursday 24th May 2018
0726: 38° 43.6”N 49° 20.0”W Hove to
All change! A hooley blew up in the night, still raging, 25 gusting 30. Apart from the 30° heel to port and occasional knockdown wave, it’s quite comfortable really. made 23 miles in the right direction overnight, so not so bad. With a tail wind I’ll be prisoner of the helm once I get going, so need to make sure I’m bodily prepared. Meanwhile, back to bed as daylight approaches.
1030: 38° 44.4”N 49° 09.8”W Hove to
MV Nalinee Naree passed close by. Called for a forecast: Wind South west F6 to 7, seas high, 4 metres (as now) for next 24 hours at least. So do I risk sailing downwind in this, or wait, hove to, drifting slowly east but adding days to my passage?
Made 94 miles in past 24 hours.
I’m safe now as long as she continues to hold together. The wind itself is manageable to sail, but the swell is formidable, risking loss of control and broach. With my rig compromised as it is, that could be fatal. I’m tempted to try it anyway because action is preferable to sitting in the saloon, reading, sleeping, and eating my dwindling food supplies and drinking my precious water.
I keep thinking about my children, and my grandchildren, two of whom I’ve never met. I’ve thought a lot about my girls since that whale strike, and I’m desperate to be with them once again, and not perish out here alone on a wild and unforgiving ocean.
So common sense prevails. I’ll carry out an inventory of supplies and figure how best to eke them out for another couple of weeks. I could be hove to for days, but, as I keep reminding myself, I’m still making way in right direction, albeit at a crawl.
Time for some reflection. Is it possible to be bored and scared witless at the same time? I keep fighting rising panic, but there’s nothing more I can do, and worry won’t solve anything. I’m mightily disappointed that the Great Adventure is going so badly down the pan. Because, Dear Reader, there’s an elephant in the room. Have you spotted it yet?
When I get to Horta I’ll need to haul out and get a full survey done. Whatever the problems are, it’s not going to be cheap to make the boat seaworthy once more. It will cost thousands of euros and will take weeks.
So I’m seriously looking at cutting my losses, hand her over to a broker to sell, and fly home to a more conventional, more sedentary life. With the state of my finances I have little choice.
1515: 38° 47.0”N 48° 54.3”W Hove to
960 miles to go
Huge morale booster this afternoon. Found a packet of chocky biscuits I’d forgotten about.
1900: Still hove to; no sign of weather easing. Wind SW 25, 20 foot waves. Getting kind of used to all the noises: wind roaring in the sails, the howl of the rigging, thunderclap waves assaulting the exposed weather hull, water sloshing the saloon windows, gurgling and gushing beneath the hull, Creaking of the weather chainplates and clacking of the lee shrouds, and a host of anonymous cracks and rattles from all around. And all happening at a tempo that suggests racing along at ten knots, instead of held almost stationary flattened to the wavetops.
Contemplating Chunky Soup with mash again tonight. Simple as that sounds, cooking anything is fraught with difficulty at this steep angle, with the cooker well past it’s gimble limits, and every so often a demolition ball wave knocks us down and judders the boat horribly.
Another couple of hours till sunset, then I’ll eat and sleep. If I had any rum left, I’d get blathered.
How do I feel, Dear Reader? Anxious, frustrated, sad, depressed even. Like an idiot for ever embarking on this mad enterprise. And bored.
Friday 25th May 2018
0940: 38° 44.0”N 47° 44.2”W Hove to
900 miles to go
Slept well. Current veered in the night, so we’ve made some ground to the south, but happily, more to the east. Wind eased for a while but now increasing once more. A mere 21 kts right now. Sky sullen grey with low cloud and rain, heavy at times. Sea remains big and formidable.
Breakfast now, then decision time.
1117: Looking at the sea and wind, risk of getting underway remains high, given my dodgy rig. Sitting tight for now, hoping for a change soon.
1200: Hurrah. Wind shift. Right, here we go. Full foul-weather gear, 5 pre-rolled ciggies & lighter in plastic bag, apple in pocket, bottle of water, piss bucket. Hope to get some miles in today, hand-steering.
1805: 38° 40.4”N 47°02.0”W Co 090 Sp 6
Just managed to tie off the wheel after a strenuous afternoon’s steering. Wind now north at 16 knots, so on a close reach – perfect. 30 miles in past five hours, not bad.
Very cold now in this north wind.
2230: 38° 40.3”N 46° 24,5”W Co 100 Sp 7.5
Saturday 26th May 2018
0220: 38° 43.3”N 45° 48.0”W Co 110 Sp 7.5
0615: 38° 48.6”N 45° 19.7”W Co 110 Sp 5.5
0920: 38° 49.3”N 45° 04.6”W Hove to
Wind NE 5 knots – useless!
Taking the opportunity of calm seas and wall to wall sunshine to clean the boat and fix a few breakages. Then I’ll motor east for a few hours until the wind veers back to SSE, then I can sail.
1155: 38° 53.0”N 44° 51.1”W Co 080 Sp 5.5
Motorsailing. All chores completed.
1450: 38° 56.4”N 44° 28.6”W Co 080 Sp 6.5
Engine off, sailing close reach. Beautiful day, calm sea, little cloud. Wind 10 kts SSE. Feeling positive.
1830: 39° 00.1”N 44° 05.5”W Co 09-0 Sp 4.8
Wind died in past 4 hours, now from south at 8 kts. Current helping to push us along. Sky milky; looks like a blow coming. Very tired; didn’t sleep much last night.
Made 140 miles today. 735 miles to go.
2000: Motoring. Trying to keep mainsail filled to stop the loose mast wobbling.
2130: 39° 02.6”N 43° 50.6”W Adrift
Stopped engine. Now drifting becalmed on an oily sea, not a breath. And just when I was getting my mojo back. My wobbly mast is, well… wobbling. Really uncomfortable. Come back wind! I’ve got to sleep, wracked with fatigue. Then I’ll eat and think about what to do next.
Sunday 27th May 2018
0550: 39° 1-.5”N 43° 54.5”W Becalmed
Called MV Brotonne Bridge for forecast; Wind to pick up in next 6 hours, SSW 10-15, then SW 18 later. Very encouraging, hope it happens. 20 litres of drinking water remaining. Food also getting low; hope I don’t have to break into my emergency (2 year old) tins of spam – hate then stuff.
I’ve drifted 4 miles west and 8 miles north – not good. Will need to get motoring after breakfast, despite the shaky mast.
1810: 39° 07.5”N 42° 56.1”W Hove to.
Just stopped to eat and rest after a long day at the helm. That weather forecast was spot on. Started sailing around 1030 in 10 knots, broad reach but wishing I could use the pole to run downwind. That of course is impossible without Georgina to hold course while I rig it. Dangerous to even try.
Wind came up to 18 kts around 4 – wish I could have steered for longer, but hunger calls and I’m shattered.
Because of drifting on a windless ocean overnight I only made 60 miles since yesterday. If I can manage 100 miles a day from here on I’ll make Horta by next Saturday. Um… we’ll see.
2230: Tanker MV Salamina - called for a forecast: “Low to the north tracking north east.”
Okay, I can do DIY Wind. I would expect the wind to shift northwards behind the depression. So in preparation I’ve moved the preventer to the starboard side ready for a port tack downwind with the genny furled. Right now the wind is from 280 13 kts.
Monday 28th May 2018
0003: Having a cuppa, then we’re off.
0330: 39° 15.6”N 42° 27.6”W Co 070 Sp 7.5
Yeah, flying alright, but not on the ideal heading, that would be 110, but you can’t have everything. Still, it’s a respite because she’s steering herself once more. The strong and gusty norwester is giving us an exhilarating, if somewhat bumpy, ride, but if she loses it things’ll happen quickly. So it’s tea in the saloon, fully togged up and listening for trouble. Seems days since I slept.
660 miles to go.
0800: 39° 15.7”N 42° 29.9”W Hove to.
Zonked out till morning. Needed it. Time to get going again.
1435: 39° 13.4”N 41° 42.3”W Co Co 090 Sp 6
Just spent a frustrating hour trying to get sails balanced for self-steering. It’s a close reach where she’s usually quite happy. But since the mast dropped the sails just don’t sit right – ‘course, the rips and missing sliders don’t help.
On a happier note, just had a dolphin visitation, big pod that stayed 20 minutes or so. 38 miles so far today and hope to keep going overnight.
620 miles to go.
1752: 39° 15.9”N 41° 21.4”W Co 060 Sp 4.5
Woke up after a deep and comfortable sleep below to find us still sailing quite happily… and to starboard, a huge grey container ship, MV Royal Klipper, a dutchman, very smart, very modern, very close!
2210: 39° 21.4”N 40° 58.0”W Co 060 Sp 4.8
Sailing close hauled. Going to bed – fingers crossed.
Tuesday 29th May 2018
0230: 39° 30.2”N 40° 1”W Co 070 Sp 6
Doddle, this. Cup of cocoa and back to bed. Cold now, brrrr.
0735: 39° 31.6”N 40° 07.9”W Co 110 Sp 4
The Wind Gods have looked kindly upon us – the winded shifted NNE, moving us gradually onto the heading we need as I slept. Of course, it will move east and then southeast, but then I’ll just tack and carry on. Just 540 miles to go.
1342: 39° 22.7”N 39° 47.8W Co 110 Sp 3.6
Motoring directly into wind since 1230, waiting for it to swing SE. Put another 20l diesel in the tank this morning. Still have 60l in reserve. Sky overcast, sea moderate with usual swell.
1650: 39° 23.8”N 39° 33.6W Co 090 Sp 6
Sailing again, engine off
2210: 39° 31.9”N 39° 05.7”W Co 070 Sp 5.2
Close hauled. Very lively.
Wednesday 30th May 2018
0813: 39° 43.3”N 37° 59.2”W Hove to.
Rough but useful night’s sailing. Called Dole Europa for forecast: S to SSW 18 to 25 kts over next few days.
0925: Underway again, easterly, quite fast. Huddled below as waves crash over the bow into the cockpit. She seems to be holding course well, but my, what a ride. Water pissing through the saloon hatch, everything wet. At least another day of this. Wind direction perfect, but a little less of it would be welcome.
1314: 39° 42.2”N 37° 33.4”W Co 110 Sp 5
Wind perfect now, less strain on the rig. 420 miles to go.
1738: 39° 33.9”N 37° 05.0”W Co 160 Sp 6
Wind no longer suitable for self-steering. Going to hand steer, heading due east, until I get tired.
2133: 39° 27.4”N 36° 36.8”W Co 120 Sp 7
Great sailing! She’s self steering again on a lively close reach. Couple of nasty squalls this afternoon. Saw another yacht heading west, but too busy on wheel to call her.
Thursday 31st May 2018
0600: 39° 27.8”N 36° -6.7”W Hove to
Hove to late last night, ate, and dropped into bed. Moved 15 more miles east during the night. Charging batteries now, breakfast, then another full day at the wheel. Squalls gone, clear sky, big moon.
1200: 39° 22.9”N 35° 29.3”W Hove to
Only 4 hours at the wheel, but so exhausting; had to stop for a rest. Waiting for wind and heavy sea to ease a little. Frustrating, since we were averaging 8 knots (peaking at 10.3). Be nice to sail downwind, but I’m already further north than I want to be – my destination lies 323 miles to the ESE.
1430: Decision to heave to was the right one. 30+ knots wind and raging sea, waves like houses, lashing rain, boat heeled far over with water slopping over the leeward saloon windows. I tacked before heaving to, to leave us pointing east. So making 3 knots in the right direction. I could just sit here and let the storm push us the rest of the way (in about 6 more days). Plenty to read – wish I could say the same about food and water. No ships about, so no forecast.
1545: AIS alarm woke me up. MV Verad, 3 miles east and heading right for me. Called on VHF. Yes, he sees me – I’m not to worry. Yes, he has a weather forecast for me: Strengthening winds overnight and tomorrow morning, perhaps easing in the afternoon. Bugger! Took a picture as she passed close by (not very good due to conditions).
1952: 39° 19.1”N 34° 54.2”W Hove to
Wow! Moved 40 miles east since noon – that’s about 5 knots. Not bad, eh? Back to the book.
Friday 1st June
0705: 39° 24.7”N 34° 00.3”W Hove to
0900: Wind easing, getting underway.
1040: 39° 27.6”N 33° 46.5”W Co 120 Sp 7
Wind from south at 19 knots. Sea heavy, Island Spirit doing okay, me, hopeful for journey’s end with 247 miles to go – I usually enjoy the passage more than the arrival. This time, not! Water tank nearly empty, 10 litres of drinking water left.
1214: 39° 24.4”N 33° 27.6”W Co 120 Sp 6.5
1953: 39° 15.9”N 32° 32.9”W Co 120 Sp 6.5
Saturday 2nd June 2018
0326: 39° 14.9”N 31° 24.0”W Co 100 Sp 5.5
Been up all night due to proximity of land and risk of fishing vessels. The sweeping loom of Flores lighthouse visible to the north. Making due east right now but will ease further south in the morning. The island of Faial (my destination) lies 135 miles ESE. In buoyant spirits.
0825: 39° 11.9”N 30° 48.3”W Co 120 Sp 4.8
109 miles to go. Managed to coax her closer up wind, but still; not enough south. Good enough for now, reckon I’ll get with 20 miles before I need to motor upwind. Porridge for breakfast, with honey and cinnamon. Yum yum!
1020: Wind eased back to 12 knots, still southerly. Sky pretty choatic with multiple cloud types at various levels, a few scant blue patches. Sea moderate with residual 2m swell. Many cape petrels skimming the waves, a few vessels around on AIS, none visual. Occasional babble of Portuguese on VHF.
1620: 39° 06.9”N 30° 06.4”W Co 115 Sp 4.2
80- miles to go – just want it over now.
2055: 39° 03.7”N 29° 43.3”W Co 110 Sp 4.5
Slow going. Still heading too high, but we’ll tackle that in the morning. 63 miles to go. With luck I’ll be in the marina tomorrow night.
Sunday 3rd June 2018
0440: 38° 54.8”N 29° 00.6”W Co 130 Sp 5
Wind shifted slightly, now SSW 17 kts. If it continues to veer I could sail all the way, but unlikely it will swing quickly enough. Intention now is to tack when I’m 10 miles north of the island and work my way anti-clockwise around the coast (Horta is on the southeast corner of Faial). An alternative, and much shorter route, is the Faial Canal, the narrow channel between Faial and Pico. A tempting shortcut, but with adverse winds funnelling through, short choppy waves, and rip tides around the headlands, it could put too much workload on my wobbly rig, I think not.
0830: 38° 44.6”N 28° 44.8”W Co 235 Sp 4
Unbelievable! After 2 weeks broken, the fluxgate compass decides to come back on line. Georgina now at the helm, steering us for the rugged lava flows at the western tip of Faial. Motor-sailing right now, but who knows what we might get closer to shore.
1200: 38° 33.0”N 28° 54.2”W Co 120 Sp 5
So much easier tacking with Georgina at the helm. 14 miles to the marina – looking forward to my first shower in a month and a slap-up dinner in a nice restaurant.
1630: Docked at Reception Quay in Horta Marina. Berthed right ahead of me, Norsa, my Welsh friends from Antigiua. And there to meet me on the jetty is Norman himself, who gives me a big hug, causing me almost to well up. “Get yerself booked in, old chap,” he growls, “then come aboard for a beer or two.”
I did just that, Dear Reader, and got thoroughly smashed.
Follow Island Spirit’s diagnosis and repair programme in the next posting, as well as a flavour of this wonderful island.