Day 6, St Martin to the Azores

1600Z 02JUN23, Day 6, St Martin to the Azores. The motor is back off after just over 27 hours of it droning on. We are back to sailing a close reach in light winds and slowly falling off as the wind moves around to the west from the east south east.

Current Position: 27 54N / 056 40W
24 hour progress: 132nm, 5.5kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 729nm, approximately 1540nm to the Azores. Just under 19 hours of the past 24 were on the engine.

In the afternoon heat, we took an hour break from the engine and had a lovely ocean swim in glassy calm waters. The sea had a surface layer that was surprisingly warm. There were cold spots and warm spots. You could keep your arms close to the surface and be very warm or churn the water a little and pull up the cooler water. The boys enjoyed jumping and diving in as the water was cold and then as you came back to the surface you felt it change to warmer again. The boat temperature sensor said the water was around 83°F (28°C). The surface temperature was even warmer - it all seems quite warm for the ocean.

After our swim break we showered and got underway. We did some work on the main to tune the battens and re-raised the sail. We also spotted a white thing floating in the distance. We motored over to it and practiced a man overboard to retrieve a drifting fishing marker buoy. One less piece of flotsam in the ocean.

Today is overcast as we wait for a depression to catch up with us and deliver some heavier winds. The overcast is welcome as it is cutting the overall heat. It was finally down to around 80°F (27°C) in the boat this morning. It has been up over 90°F (30°C) during the days and only sort of cools off at night. We know we will eventually miss the heat (particularly the warm water for our swims) but it has still been quite warm and we are looking forward to cooler temperatures.

This morning the winds picked up to over 5kts and the direction became more consistent. So out went the genoa and off went the iron sail. We have been slowly sailing down the rhumb line and expect the wind to strengthen and change direction to be from aft of the beam.

Last night, we enjoyed the rest of our family movie and a taco dinner without much left over. We worked on boat chores and small projects through the day that were easy to do in the calm. We continue to be frustrated by the ever changing weather forecasts. We are prepared for whatever we actually get and trust that Zephyros will take good care of us.

The fishing line is still out; still no takers. We have seen a few more tropic birds and more small flights of flying fish.

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