Day 5, St Martin to the Azores

1600Z 01JUN23, Day 5, St Martin to the Azores. The wind completely went away. We sailed for as long as we could but once we started losing steerage and going many directions the engine came on.

Current Position: 26 35N / 058 36W
24 hour progress: 92nm, 3.8kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 597nm, approximately 1670nm to the Azores. 8.5 hours on the engine and still motoring with no sign of much wind to come.

We continued gliding along yesterday making slow speeds in light winds. We did boat chores and took outside showers. We lazed around and read books. Daxton is working through a Harry Potter movie marathon.

As the day went on, we spied a sail far off in the distance. We expected it was the sailboat we passed the previous night as this sailboat also didn't have AIS. In the afternoon he gradually got closer and passed to the stern of us. He called us on the radio and asked about weather. He was headed for the Azores and left St Martin on Friday (we left Saturday). He seemed unaware that we passed him the night before - so he could be a different sailboat or he could be the same, our guess is the same. He was motoring and curious as to how long these light airs would remain. We told him another day or two.

We continued sailing and he apparently turned off his engine around sunset as we began over taking him again. This time he had running lights on and not an anchor light. The kids kept an eye on him for their watches but he fell behind and wasn't a factor for us. We have lost sight of him again.

We had a relaxed chicken curry dinner and started a movie. It was a nice family evening. Then we paused the movie and fell into our watch schedule. We continued being able to sail through the kids watches with only occasional banging of the sails.

By Jon's watch the winds were really getting light and he did his best to keep us sailing. He hand steered and changed the point of sail to try to keep us somewhat pointed at the Azores. By the time Megan was up for turnover it really was no longer working. We pulled weather again and re-studied our options. The challenge is that a bunch of lows will be coming over so we aren't sure which direction to motor towards. We would like to get sail-able winds that aren't too strong but every forecast is different than the last and none of the models agree! In the end, we are hedging our bets and headed just a little north of rhumb line. We expect to start sailing again sometime overnight and then have some strong winds in a couple of days. The question is will we continue to have wind after that or will we find another wind hole. Time will tell.

The fishing line is still out; still no takers. We have seen a few tropic birds and more flights of flying fish. The water is completely glassy, occasionally with very light wind ripples and then back to glassy like an oil slick. It's beautiful and strange.

The afternoon agenda is a swim call, more little chores, the rest of the movie and taco night. Hopefully we will find some wind as well before morning.

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