Day 3, Azores to Ireland

0930Z 03AUG23, Day 3, Azores to Ireland. Day 3 was an uncomfortable day of close hauled sailing in gray, cool weather.

Current Position: 41 58N / 022 23W
24 hour progress: 123nm, 5.1kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 365nm, approximately 810nm to Kinsale. 70nm made good down the rhumb line - only about half of the miles sailed made for progress towards Kinsale, but at least we were sailing.

About an hour into day 3 we had a major wind shift. It was expected from the weather forecasts, but it is still quite surprising when the wind shifts almost 180 degrees without much change in wind speed or other signs that it is coming.

We had expected the wind to shift to the north or northeast so had planned to sail east if we could. However, after setting up close hauled on a port tack, we were heading southeast. We soon abandoned that plan as the wind moved further and further towards the east which had us sailing more and more south. We then tacked north and tightened our sails to as close hauled as we can go.

Zephyros heeled over and the boat movement changed as we bounced into the waves and swell. This had some of the crew feeling quite queasy and feeding the fish. Megan's iron stomach was fine and Poseidon surprisingly hasn't drooled or gotten sick.

We continued on close hauled, pointed N to NNW. In the evening hours the winds picked up (they often seem to pick up when it's time to cook!) and we added a second reef to the main while Megan worked to feed the crew.

The winds were up and down but before sunset we shook out one of the reefs, bringing us back to 1 reef in the main. There were enough clouds and shifting winds that we left the reef in the main to simplify overnight watches. When the winds picked up we put a reef in the genoa and then shook it out when they calmed again.

Around midnight Saga tacked east and we lost them off the AIS. We hung on to our NW tack until just after 3am when the winds moved more northerly. Then we tacked and headed east for about 5.5 hours until our course was too southerly again. We are back to a N-NW heading, close hauled and expect the winds to die off sometime today.

Morning updates around our group show Saga about 13nm east of us and Puff about 50nm south. Everyone seems to be doing well - though mal de mar has made its rounds. We are all expecting the wind to go away as we cross through a light wind area before picking up the next system. Until then, we will sail the best we can.

The weather is nicer - sunnier but cooler - again this morning. Hopefully everyone will start feeling better soon. The seas haven't been too large so everyone just needs some time to find their sea legs. There have been lots of birds and even one foolishly determined one that we had to chase away from the fishing line yesterday.

Just this morning (at 0920 and right before the 24 hour end to day 3) Daxton (finally) caught a fish! A small Mahi Mahi. He is so happy that his prized lure finally caught something. We are all looking forward to a nice poke bowl lunch.

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