July 12th, 2009

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Sunday 12 July Slower Progress

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

At 19.20 hrs UTC I was at 34.56 N 37.21 W with 472 miles to go to Horta. An 80 mile progress day. At mid afternoon my daily mileage had dropped to 65. I reported yesterday the wind shift. It went from SW to NW and then slowly to NE so it is right on the nose to Horta. And the waves were so large and the wind close to 25 knots all night that I cannot sail close enough to the wind so I was about 40 degrees south of my rhumb line course. A few hours ago the wind and waves had moderated enough so that I could raise the 3 reef Main, in addition to the 60% jib. This enabled me to sail closer to the wind and faster. But in the mean time the wind has gone more east wiping out that direction advantage. So, it was fun while it lasted the previous week with 105 to 131 mile days. The forecast for the next two days are for the same unfavorable wind directions but less wind, so, if the seas flatten out a bit I’ll be able to set more sail and sail closer to the wind. Herb could not hear the boats in this area at the usual time and will try again at 23.00 UTC. Last night I had no luck at all. I have not much to report about what might have been happening outside. The shop was closed up. I took a good gulp on the navigation table when I had, for a moment, left the hatch slide open. With all the cloud cover, last night, it was pitch black. The skies cleared up an hour ago. Matthias Klemm advised me that the Friday report had not appeared on the web site. Not sure why. I have no way to check this, so, recht Vielen Dank, Matthias! I re-posted it. It might show up in the wrong chronological order. I finished the Jan de Hartog Book and started back in “Suite Francaise” about the first days of the 2nd WW in Paris. Raving reviews but I find it repetitive and boring. Still messing with the Cryptogram. Usually when they don’t come to me in the first 5 minutes, it’s haunting me for days. Instead of “broeken” the ending could also be “brokken” ( kleding”stukken”).

Friday July 10 a week away from Azores

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

At 19.20 hrs UTC I was at 34.38N 41.51W with 679 miles to go. A 105 mile day. I am staying about 20 degrees south of the rhumb line to avoid unfavorable wind direction to the North of me. Still that same wonderful 15/20 knot SW keeping close to hull speed. Just the 90% jib and at times, when it drops to near 15 knots I add a 3 reef main. The mid ocean meeting, yesterday, was the 2nd encounter or even sighting, of another sail boat in the open ocean since I left for this madness in 2005. The previous encounter was in June 2007 on my way from Trinidad to the Chesapeake. At that time the sea was so calm that we came along side and exchanged gifts, a bottle of Trinidad Rum for Lindt chocolates. We became regular correspondents, Carl and Susan McKenzie of “Morning Star”. They were then on their way to the Med from Jacksonville. I lost contact when they stopped using SailMail. I was unable to get a forecast from Herb at the usual 19.30 rendezvous. Most likely he will try again at 23.00 hrs. But at any rate, I should be heading mor N.E., towards Horta on a 80 degree course instead I am at 100 degrees. A soon as the contrary winds to the north of me change I will head for the barn. Probably to-morrow, but the Grib files show less wind than I have now and no longer the down wind sleigh ride I have been spoiled with the last 5 days. I have had a problem starting the engine and spent a couple hours in the cramped quarter berth in the rolling seas. I think I fixed it. I run it once in a while in neutral to pump out the bilge water that drips from the packing gland and sometimes to make some more current when the solar panel is handicapped by a lack of light. I am not certain why I am still dragging the trap line. I can’t figure out the Radio Nederland schedule. Friday night is Cryptogram but they just signed off and no “Klare Taal”.