Day 4, Azores to Ireland

0930Z 04AUG23, Day 4, Azores to Ireland. We had some lovely weather and a good bit of motoring. Now we are back to downwind sailing under cloudy skies.

Current Position: 43 39N / 021 13W
24 hour progress: 122nm, 5.1kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 487nm, approximately 700nm to Kinsale, about 14.5 hours of engine time.

We continued sailing close hauled after yesterday's log entry. Around midday we shook out the reef that we had left in the main. Around 2pm the winds were dropping off and the engine came on. We furled the genoa and motor sailed with the full main in light winds.

In the afternoon, Saga reappeared on our AIS, with our paths set to cross around 2nm apart. We were heading along rhumb line and they were pushing more directly north to catch the next wind system. Just before dinner time we had a nice radio chat and agreed to play a dice game after dinner over the radio. We reconnected and ended up playing 2 games prior to sunset. It definitely broke up the monotony of the day of motoring! Daxton was quite happy as he won the first game and he was on watch so it made his watch go faster with something different to occupy the evening.

They continued north and we continued NE with us losing each other off the AIS again in a few hours.

It was a beautiful clear night with the waning full moon and stars. Around 4am Megan decided there was enough wind to sail and we all had, had enough of the engine. So Megan set up on a broad reach, sailing north in light winds. As the winds filled in the clouds also started filling in.

From our morning check in with Saga, they were about 11nm to the south. They were also back to sailing with a more or less direct course to Kinsale with a straight downwind 2 headsail configuration. Megan decided to change from our broad reach to direct downwind with a wing-on-wing (main sail to one side and genoa to the other) setup so that we could also point NE rather than N.

We motor faster and regained our lead overnight, but Saga has a speed advantage in the lighter winds; so maybe we will see them on AIS again sometime today. We seem to start to see them around 8-9nm away on the AIS but need to be around 5nm or less away to talk clearly on the radio.

We are all doing well. Everyone is feeling better. We all enjoyed the poke bowl that the sea provided. Even Poseidon had a little nibble - he usually shows no interest in fish when we catch it so that was a surprise. The fishing line stayed aboard all day after the catch, but is back in today.

We are still seeing birds, distant cargo ships and tankers as well as the occasional SV Saga. Otherwise it is lots of ocean and sky.

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