Monday, October 13, 2014

BVI’s to the Azores, The North Atlantic crossing May/June 2014

 

Dear Friends,

It is not an easy task to describe this passage, such a mixture of emotions, impressions, insights…

It took us 22 days to arrive on the island Flores and experienced in total three days of calm, no wind whatsoever. We had lots of dolphins, and closer by the Azores some awesome sightings of whales, even a meeting with a Dutch sailboat (SV Tulip, from Sneek).

The crew worked great together, the routine of 3 hour shifts (myself, Giovanni and Pedro) worked out excellent (3 hours on duty, 6 hours of sleep and relax). Dora was responsible for the food, organization and intake discipline.. (Chocolate, and coffee..).

Pedro and Giovanni made a great effort in keeping our log book up to date, and in digital form. After a couple of days indeed the routine set in, and personally it felt as if we had entered in to another dimension… SV Onda Boa was sailing inside a bubble, this bubble was our universe, and Onda Boa our truly and only Life Support System.

Pedro has made a great blog of our crossing (http://decaronapeloatlantico.blogspot.com.br/p/blog-page_28.html) and includes our log book (for those of you interested). He also is responsible for the most fantastic pictures (and short movies).

Some comments about the weather:

Usually in early spring the so called Azores High pressure system establishes itself and makes the winds coming from the Eastern quadrant, and following a semi circle passing Bermuda at some 350 nm in theory it is normally an easy ride… of course my friends, not this time. Instead of the Azores High, we were mainly experiencing a stubborn Low pressure system, disrupting the steady winds. At one time we tried to outsmart this low pressure system, but in hind side, with our type of sailboat (or I guess any type of cruising sailboats, going on average 4-5 knots, you cannot outsail a weather system, as you are not able to sail fast enough). Anyway, so we there were days of more wind (and waves) and some days with no wind, but on average things have been fine.

Some highlights:

· StandUP paddle board maiden voyage, somewhere in the Atlantic during our first windless day

· Dora’s birthday, and the crew efforts to make it an unforgettable moment

· Not catching any fish (except a barracuda near the BVI, which we promptly returned to the seas)

· Launching of two bottles with a message

· The daily competition: who predicts the last 24 hrs distance (price: chocolate)

· The discussions, the jokes and the use of the Beast… (the signature 138m2 Genaker sail).

· The haircut, new style Onda Boa look…

· The absolute absence of noise, most notably during our second becalmed day..

· The daily email exchange with Gabriel of SV Rodeo, who still was in ST Maarten and our weather man…

· 4 days before arriving in Flores: the autopilot gave up… Old style hand steering… pick your star at night…

Then having Flores on the horizon, and in the meantime… the nights had become cold. For some it was a relieve to see land, for others (me)… more mixed feelings.

The day after we arrived, Pedro had to leave and flew from Flores, via Lisbon back to Brazil.

A day was spend in cleaning, repairing, re stocking some items, and of we went for the island of Faial. With Pedro gone, Giovanni and I had to find an acceptable shift schedule, as we still needed to handsteer….

 

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TRAV13

Greetings

Pieter

Ps: Most pictures: by Pedro (Also check his blog:http://decaronapeloatlantico.blogspot.com.br/p/blog-page_28.html)

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Janty, glad you enjoy visiting the blog....
    Best rgds

    ReplyDelete

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