July 1st, 2009

...now browsing by day


Wednesday July 1st. Making great progress

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

At 18.30 UTC (I am going to use this now till I get into the West Europe time zone)UTC or Zulu Time is 2 hours before Europe summer time, 4 hours before Atlantic Summer time and 7 hours before Pacific Daylight Saving Time) I am at 33.24 N 62.23 W with 1659 miles to Horta, Azores. A 124 mile made good 24 hour period. The winds strengthened last night and I had to drop the main and sail with just the 90% jib. In the morning they were getting close to 30 knots, reefed the jib to 60%. All night there had been a heavy cloud cover, pitch black. Then the rains came, in buckets at times, and gusty winds. For a while I sailed under bare poles. Then the storm jib but in the afternoon the clouds broke up and the wind also went back to less than 20 knots. Right now they are back to 25. Herb gave me a new waypoint, keeping me going dead east along 33.30 latitude. Since yesterday he had me going more north eastward.

There are these beautiful little creatures sailing along the surface. Not certain if these are Portuguese Man of War. About 2 1/2″ (65mm) long. Looks like something for kids to play with in the bathtub. The sail looks like a transparent rooster comb. The odd part is that they sail with their sails directed the same way as the wind direction. They come in different colors. White sail with light blue body/boat. Yellow with red, etc. They are difficult to catch quick enough to have the camera ready. But I promise a picture.

Tuesday evening: It is 9 p.m. and I am having one of the best sails ever. Since leaving Bermuda 6 hours ago my speed has not fallen under 6 knots. I just put a third reef in the main, for the night. It is still blowing close to 25 knots. When I approached the fuel dock there was a boat at the dock and he informed me that there was another boat ahead of me in line. Guy with a British accent, American flag. When I said : “oh, really!” He sarcastically snapped back: “Yes, really”. On the way out he passed me while I raised my sails. His boat was all of 48 foot. Then I sailed past him. So, I got my revenge. His crew finally managed to get the way too big reacher sail down with the snuffer sock. Real sailors only put socks on their feet. The Bermuda AM station is playing oldies, like real oldies, forties/fifties, “Jezebel”, (if ever a devil was born without a pair of horns,,,) etc. So, it’s Kareoke night on “Fleetwood” without an audience.