Day 1, Azores to Ireland

0930Z 01AUG23, Day 1, Azores to Ireland. It was a great month and a half in the Azores, and now it is time to sail on. The see-you-later's were tough, but the excitement for new adventures in Ireland is high. Both are definitely a part of the highs and lows of this journey.

Current Position: 38 42N / 024 11W
24 hour progress: 103nm, 4.3kts avg SOG, approximately 1020nm to Kinsale. We had about 15 hours of engine time in the first 24 hours.

We got underway at 09:30 in the morning from Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores. There was very little wind so we motored out of the harbor towards the whale watching boats. We figured if we were going to use diesel anyway, might as well join the whale watching groups. We were rewarded with dolphins and Sei whales!

We hung out near the tour boats for a little while and then turned east to start down around São Miguel. We motored east looking for more feeding birds in hopes of more dolphins and whales - we were not disappointed. We found another group and then put up our main and contemplated sailing as our friends on SV Saga and SV Puff were both underway now, also leaving the Azores (and sailing).

We were able to launch the asymmetric spinnaker and were pleasantly surprised with some easy downwind sailing around the island. The weather forecasts suggested we would be motoring a good bit for the first day or so of the passage so we were happy to get beautiful, sunny, calm, pleasant sailing to start off the trip.

As we reached the SE corner of the island we brought down the kite as rain clouds were looming and we figured we would try to keep the kite dry. We ended up on the motor in the lee of the island and saw more dolphins and more whales.

As we cleared the island, we shut the engine off for awhile, sailing a close reach on port tack with full sails and pointed to Ireland! As the internet communications dropped off, we were able to have a radio chat with Saga and they could talk to Puff. It's always interesting to be close enough to other friends to see them on AIS and occasionally have radio chats.

After a lovely sunset the winds died and the engine was back on until around 3 am. The nearly full moon was great company while it was up. The morning winds have been light and we are making slow progress, but it is progress and in the right direction.

We have seen some fishing boats, a couple of tankers and our fishing line is in the water. Now we work on settling into the rhythm of passage making.

No comments:

Post a Comment