Arrived Horta

Tuesday, we arrive in Horta after 13 days and 1861 NM at sea. 1374 Nm by sail and 487 by engine.

At the beginning we had wind well forward of the beam occasionally exceeding 20 knots and sometimes close to 30 kn , resulting in good progress, our hydrogenator gave good contribution to our batteries but after a day or two in service I noticed that it looked strange, shit it was falling apart. I brought it quickly aboard and concluded it was not reparable by me. I was really upset about this but after a while I calmed down.

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I thought I bought a high-quality product, but obviously not. Will be interesting to see how the manufacturer SWI-Tec handle this complaint. I mailed them and said I lost confidence in the product and wanted to be refunded, reply so fare, they want me to send it in for inspection. I have to wait and see. Anyhow I cannot recommend investing in a hydrogenator even if the quality is good, to limited use, only useful on very long passages. Need to be stored when not in use, I guess a wind generator gives much more value for money, it has the potential to generate Amps to your batteries any days the wind is blowing at around 14 knots or higher (number one is of course solar as much as can be fitted).

 

A sorrow seldom came alone, one afternoon I saw a tear in the head sail, not good at all, we furled it in so the tear was not exposed and sailed so during the night. The day after we took it down and unfurled the stay sail that had never worked well before. I had made some changes to the sheeting attachments but not really believed in it so never bothered to try it out, not until now, and it worked rather well, very important now when the head sail was down.

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Taking the sail down we also discover that the sail maker who fixed our sail in Bermuda had made a very bad job, as the sail was tear just close to the repair. So not only the new tear to be repaired

Kate repairing sail 2

Katy working hard to repair with a piece of Sunbrella which we had aboard.

Kat Repairing sail 1

I’m looking whith great interest.

Kerstin repairing sail

And Kerstin assist after Kat showed how to use the speedy stitcher. It was a full day work and we conclude this sail is beyond repai,r the cloth is in very bad conditions, so from now, only to be used in very light conditions.

The forecast was not showing any light conditions, on the contrary the weather threatening to be rather rough during the last part of our passage.

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Forecast threatening with gusts close to 50 knots and waves up to 15 feet with occasional waves at 25 feet, but we did not see anything close to that. We had a few squalls that had +40 kn wind, we were conservative and during nights with risk for squalls we had the main reefed to be on the safe side. Else nothing special.

The seas were sometimes a bit confused and to sleep during this conditions was not always easy.

Try to sleep

Kerstin try to sleep on the salon sofa which is a rather good place with less motion than many other places aboard.

Our crew

Crewq kat and Jerry

Kate and Jerry just before we leave, they do not know what is waiting a mean Captain and an uncomfortable passage.

Kate and Jerry

Jerry looks a bit tiered but all in all I think they enjoyed the trip, it was good for us to have someone to share the watches with.

At the end of the trip it become much colder especially at nights

coold weather 1

Try to protect me with a cushion, but soon it is very cold

Cold weather 2

Still freezing

But finally, we saw Horta a grey and rainy day.

Soon on Horta

Imigration jetty Horta

After almost exact 13 days we where outside the customs jetty, we had to wait for maybe 20 minutes but all in all the procedure was rather fast and we could

HBorta Harbor 1

Tie up outside another boat.

Champaign in Horta

Of course, a glass champaign to celebrate

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Then admire this harbour with historical and ironical status among sailors

Where many sailors have painted their bookmarks

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And beautifully overlooking the neighbouring island Pico with its volcanic mountain top

Of course, we need to visit

 

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Peters Café

Peter

Where third generation Peter (Jose) showing his exhibition of scrimshaw carvings

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the gale that dissaperad

The wind disappeared so we had to motor during the night, no excitement what so ever, a few squalls one with a massive amount of rain flushing all salts of Kerpa, but the salt will soon be back again.
I was looking forward a bit to have some rough weather to see how we and Kerpa handles tougher conditions, now we have to wait for another occasion to experience that. swell still rather large so ride a bit bumpy. The captain was tiered so I slept well, Kerstin took my watch so now I’m on again. just after dawn the wind picked up and now we are reaching with good speed towards Horta. I’m very pleased that our cutter jib now working well under this conditions, we have thought of take the whole thing off the boat but now decided to make sure it work in all conditions. The last nights have been very cooled so all clothes available have been used. Last 24 h 138 nM
Distance to go 280 nM after 11 days at sea, guess we will make landfall Tuesday at noon.

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Not to bad

The night was rather calm, we sailed with main and mizzen only. At daylight the wind picked up to +/-25kn quite joyful sailing, speed good, direction so, so, wind direction not very stable so we had to jibe a few times. After lunchtime we had the first squall, it was not long but for sure the wind was well beyond 40 kn, took us with surprise, my fault I should have seen it coming, blame my lack of attentiveness on lack of sleep. Boat motion has not been good for sleeping. Just now we are broad reaching with heavy reefed main 50%, and the cutter jib, speed 6-7 knots, occasionally exceeding 8 kn, sea not to bad yet. Autopilot steers OK, not the easiest conditions. According to Chris Parker The worst weather is expected Sunday early morning until after noon.
Distance last 24 h 120 nM another low mileage day, but partly due to holding back to avoid bad weather. I think it has been the American extra caution syndrome from our weather man, we could have sailed direct without putting on the break. Distance to go 410 nM, might arrive Horta Late Monday evening or early Tuesday

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Preparing for weather to come

Last 24 h progress are probably the slowest 24 h sail we ever have had, only 87 nM. As we do not want to reach W 38 to early that is just fine. The current kind conditions have allowed all of us to get some good sleep. I have observed that we are not doing to bad in low wind if it is not too far aft of the beam, at 7 kn just aft of the beam we do 3,5 kn with partly? Reefed genua. Recon a code zero would be very nice to have in current conditions, it has been on the wishlist for some time.
There are plenty of Portuguese Man o War on the water, the moon lighten up the night and everything is fine.
Today we preparing for the bad weather by lashing lose items fast, baking bread and prepare ready meals.
We have now been 9 days at sea and have still 520 nM to go, dependent on how long we have to heave-to I guess we will be at least 4 more days at sea.

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Becalmed but …..

Since yesterday we are more or less becalmed, to little wind to fill the sails, thus we are motoring slowly towards The Azores, unfortunately we have to get through BAD weather. The mail this morning from Chris Parker indicated two to three days of Heaving-to to let to bad weather system passing, however a new recent forecast update shows improved conditions. We can probably slowly sail the 150 nM towards West 38 and be there Saturday evening, then heave-to let the worst weather pas us then Sunday continue our voyage. Wind 40 g 50 knots waves 15 feet, if materialize a new experience for all of us aboard.
Yesterday we caught a mackerel large enough to feed all four of us, tasted very good. the day before a big fish took one of our lures and just run away and snapped the line as it was made of a single spider web thread.
Today we will prepare the boat and our self for the Gale and cook some food and bake bread enough to last until weather settles. Distance since yesterday 118 nM
To go 610 nM

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