Canary Islands Towards Santa Maria, Azores: Day 6 4


VIA Telnet

Day 6 of maybe a few more Canary Islands to Santa Maria, Azores.

Daily miles sailed: (Tue-Wed) 12 noon-12 noon 89 nm (69.9nm to go. Well the early part of the day was a hard earned 35nm, the rest under the iron genny)

Current position: Roughly 70nm SE of Santa Maria, heading 324 deg, speed: 5.0 knots. Sea state: < 1.0m

Passage notes: Day Six.

Another day of two halves. The first half was brochure style champagne sailing, ghosting along at between 2-4 knots under clear skies and azure seas. Sir Harry the Hydrovane doing the steering duties (more of this later).

The second half included fickle winds, a flesh wound to sir Harry caused by the skipper, and still he performed valiantly, as it turned out with two hands tied behind his back as well!

Then the second half of the second half, as darkness fell. The winds went lighter still and we could barely keep the boat moving. The only way to do this was to head for either Ireland, or Brazil. We couldn’t understand why, and our sleep deprived minds struggled to work out what was happening.

Then I remembered Harry had a light airs sensitivity setting DOH!!! However in the conditions of swell, light winds and then Emerald powering up we just couldn’t get her to balance the various forces and she’d either fall off the wind or round up in the light gusts.

I might have to go back to sail skool.

Previously I’d also not managed to pull the Hydrovane sail paddle lock fully out and damaged the delrin holder giving brave Sir Harry his first flesh wound in 19000nm.

A tired and exasperated conference in the cockpit and we decided to fire up the engine, for what we’d thought would be an overnight motor (we hate motoring, noisy, hot, expensive)and try again in the morning. We couldn’t work out why we were only managing 4.2knots even with a reefed main giving us a lift when we would normally be closer to 6 knots under these conditions with the engine. A quick Google (thanks Elon) and we discovered the small matter of the Azores Current. Running up to 1.5knots directly on the nose! That also explained the slow progress under sail, we were doing a lot better than we realised.


Cajun pork, stir fried veg, guacamole and tortilla.

Things that Broke:

Harry’s flesh wound. (sorry Sir Harry)
The engine tachometer has stopped working.
Small weep in the engine coolant system, which I knew about. I bought a cheap Chinese after market coolant pump. its made of Chinesium. I will get a genuine Perkins pump next chance I get and change it out. (expensive but still half the price of the Volvo one!)

Wildlife spotted:

A small ex flying fish on deck. A handful of pelagic birds again, shearwaters and terns

Other Things Spotted:

Two not very distant ships, one crossing our bow in the small hours, one just now altered course to cross our stern, the Njord DW it was called, thank you to the ship’s watch skipper for the courtesy.

Happy Birthday Wishes

Finally happy birthday to my Sis from Emerald.


Sailing boat with sails furled away on a blue sea with blue sky

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4 thoughts on “Canary Islands Towards Santa Maria, Azores: Day 6

  • Philip Owen

    Best wishes to you both….the most intrepid explorers I know…although the only other one I know and a close second is a really serious twitcher who travels the world far and wide on a tight budget. Sometimes alone but mostly with other like minded individuals. His tales always include many fruitless hours, tiring journeys, things that go wrong (normally associated with food, water or beastie’s) and kipping in places his dog would not sleep in….all to see a rare bird in the wild ..sometimes just a few minutes !! So another mixed fortune blog post…but you are still slowly splashing onward 🙂 …regards Phil. PS- How did Harry become a sir ?

    • Nichola Post author

      Hi Phil, yes, it seems to be. There is a slightly different sound to the exhaust phase which we guess is the water being pushed through the gooseneck of the second waterlock.