Day 13, St Martin to the Azores

1600Z 09JUN23, Day 13, St Martin to the Azores. Another sunny day in cool weather with good speed in the right direction. A second day over 150nm and our best mileage day of the passage.

Current Position: 33 49N / 041 25W
24 hour progress: 153nm, 6.4kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 1,630nm, approximately 685nm to the Azores.

The past 24 hours have been hard sailing in 15- 20kt winds. Yesterday we continued sailing a close reach with one reef in the main until dinner time. Then we put a second reef in the main to ease the heel for Megan to cook.

Just after sunset we had some rain cells and added the 3rd reef to the main and one to the genoa. This slows us down a bit for night, makes any gusts manageable and generally makes everything a bit more comfortable for everyone.

The winds stayed pretty constant and there were only a few night time rain cells. We went back to a full genoa to keep our speed up. The stars were beautiful, the bio-luminescence continued to impress and the moon shown brightly, once it rose.

We had another sailboat on the AIS, Astreos. They only ever got as close as 5 miles so we never saw them and didn't talk to them. They were sailing a bit faster and a little less direct. Even so they passed 6 miles in front of us.

On the early morning watch turnover we shook out a reef and would occasionally still see hits on Astreos. Their transmissions seem to disappear from our AIS around the 6-7nm mark.

After sunrise we shook out the rest of the main and have been hauling along on a close reach under full sails. The winds have been a little shifty and we have found ourselves constantly adjusting to maintain our rhumb line course. We again started seeing Astreos on the AIS in the morning, but we expect they also took out night reefs and got back to being faster than us. We still receive the occasional AIS hit on them as we try to keep pace.

The temperature has definitely dropped. It is now quite pleasant, even a little chilly at night in the breeze. It continues to stay warm inside Zephyros. We are still just sleeping under sheets. Megan tried a blanket last night but it was a bit too warm still.

We expect the wind to run out in the next 24 hours. The bottom of the low we are currently sailing will outrun us. We will then need to wait for the next low to catch us. We expect that will entail motoring once the wind dies until it picks back up again. But we will see what we get. We then expect to ride the bottom of that new system all the way to Horta.

The fishing line is back in; again. Daxton insists on keeping the same lure and refuses to try a different one. This lure did get a strike back near Anguilla so he believes it should work if there are any fish. Oh well, it gives him something to do anyway. We continue to see birds - shearwaters and a tern over the last day.

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