Day 14, St Martin to the Azores

1600Z 10JUN23, Day 14, St Martin to the Azores. Two weeks at sea complete! We were on the engine to cross a dead air zone, but are back to sailing under sunny skies and high clouds.

Current Position: 34 51N / 038 59W
24 hour progress: 138nm, 5.75kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 1,768nm, approximately 545nm to the Azores. 14 hours of engine time.

We continued sailing well yesterday afternoon. After sunset we had some rain cells and put 2 reefs in the main. Those reefs were soon shaken back out as the wind began to disappear, as the forecasts suggested they would.

As the wind died our course went a bit wonky. As we knew the engine was going to come on anyway, we gave up and just after midnight UTC, on went the engine. We could see occasional AIS hits on Saba and Astreos. They seemed to stick with it a bit longer. But then it looked like Saba gave up and turned their engine on as well. We lost AIS contact with Astreos while they were still pointed southeast and hanging with it. However satellite derived AIS data shows them both a bit behind us, on parallel courses to either side making 4.5kts where there was not even 4.5kts of wind. They both seem to be on their engines. Undoubtedly they too will be back to sailing soon, if not already, and the race will again be on.

With the engine on we made lots of water and used lots of hot water. We cleaned ourselves, the dishes, the boat. We've been busy with chores in the sailing down time. We also advanced the ship's clock by an hour. 1 more hour to go as the Azores is on UTC this time of year.

With as much chores done as we felt like doing and 8kts of wind we decided to see if we could sail. It is slow but we are moving along and we don't miss the engine noise. We are hopeful that the steady wind will return soon as the low catches us up. We may just have to be a little patient.

The glassy seas with no winds this morning were very interesting. While the surface looked smooth as an oil slick, there was still a significant swell running. Also notably, there were so many Portuguese Man o' War (they are in today's photo, but likely hard to impossible to see with the iridium low resolution photo)! It certainly didn't make a swim appealing to anyone despite the promise of a warm shower after.

We have had two visits from dolphins in the last day. They don't stay long but they certainly brighten the mood. Still seeing birds. Still haven't caught a fish.

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