Day 9, Azores to Ireland

0930Z 09AUG23, Day 9, Azores to Ireland. Another good day of sailing followed by a slow night of sailing. We are in the home stretch and the winds are picking up for Zephyros to kick up her heels and fly in.

Current Position: 50 24N / 011 20W
24 hour progress: 120nm, 5kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 1092nm, approximately 130nm to Kinsale.

We again sailed wing-on-wing throughout the day with the genoa poled out to our starboard side and the full main off to port. We made good speed with a good course.

We had a nice, relaxed day. We listened to an audiobook, looked at weather and made pizza. The downwind ride was comfortable and everyone's sea legs were well established.

We checked in with Saga a couple of times during the day. We were slowly clawing back the miles that we had given up as we both ran straight to the same point and compared mileage remaining.

Our setup was perfect this time with the main on the side it should be for the way the winds would change. As the wind moved towards the south we could keep adjusting our course to stay on rhumb line and the poled out genoa kept working.

The weather suggested we would want to bring down the pole around midnight or 1am. On Ronan's watch the wind started moving to the south and he was needing to steer around 135AWA so he woke up Megan (she was on standby watch). She watched it for a bit and decided to get Jon up at midnight. The three of us got the pole down and set up a broad reach on a starboard tack while a few dolphins chased us. Of course the winds moved back towards the west and our broad reach had us pointed a bit more easterly.

No matter. The winds were light and we were making around 4kts so it was no problem to give up a few degrees waiting for the winds to actually shift. As expected they did come around in the next hours and we sailed a comfortable broad reach in light winds for a few hours.

As the sun rose the wind continued to move around to the south bringing us to a beam reach. The course and sails were adjusted with the wind. The winds were still light but we expected that and were happy to be moving along under sail.

The winds began picking up around 7 and by 7:30am we had a reef in the main and Zephyros was gaining her stride on a close reach with fresh winds and a flat sea.

Our morning check-in with Saga showed that we had regained the lead. We are 8nm closer to Kinsale and sailing faster now. Apparently we had done well to get a bit more north as we had winds to sail overnight while they struggled to keep moving.

Now we both will work to balance our speed for the right arrival times. We are both aiming to be outside Kinsale at first light. The weather looks like we should have gusts up to 25kts and a close reach for the rest of the way. This is weather that Zephyros moves well in.

There are lots of dolphins in these waters. Delectable food must be abundant for them. We haven't caught any more fish, but we have enjoyed watching the dolphins play around the boat. Sometimes we see the large pods jumping out of the water as they race towards us from far away. Other times they just suddenly appear alongside. It's thrilling to watch them effortlessly fly through the water. Every so often one jumps out of the water while alongside as if they just want a better look at Zephyros.

Less than a day to go. We are finally doing the sailing that Zephyros likes to do. We are ready to end on a good note and excited for landfall. Fish 'n chips or something with fresh greens for lunch tomorrow?

No comments:

Post a Comment