Blue Clipper Q&A

Overdue following up on my last posting, but the first 10 days back were consumed with preparation for and attendance at a full-day Board Meeting, my other life, as well as a host of long-neglected and overdue tasks that needed attention.

As I return to day-to-day reality I have finally started reading newspapers again, retreat over, but I have no sense that I actually missed anything, all too predictable. However, on a more cheerful note…

Reflections and random thoughts...

V has raised a number questions about the voyage and the ship and I have received other questions from readers and friends; I plan to do a post in the next couple of days to try and answer as many of these as I can. In the meantime I thought I’d jot down some of the interesting incidents/experiences of the last couple of weeks.

Flying fish really do fly or at least glide. I’m sure everyone already knows this but it was truly facinating and amazing to see them actually do it…

Arriving in the Azores!

When last heard from, we were approaching the Azores but unsure, with wind and weather, when we would arrive. The seas had been relatively calm and the winds, while helpful, were somewhat low so that it did not appear as if we would get to Porta Delga in the Azores until sometime on Saturday, 3 days later than our scheduled arrival. I called V on my satellite phone to let her know and promised to get back in touch if there was a change.

Later that Wednesday afternoon, 16 days out of Bermuda, the winds picked up, the swells grew…

At sea - Week 2

Week 2 was considerably easier than week 1. During the first week we had reduced sail as the winds increased, removing the top sails, taking down the outer jib which was putting an immense strain on the masts and rigging and reefing the main and fore sails. Even so we were sometimes making 8-9 knots and in the first 4 days we covered 650 nautical miles. Had the winds continued and had they been pushing us in the right direction we could have made the crossing in 12 days instead of the 18 days that it eventually took.

After our first week of sailing the winds dropped significantly over the course of one night…

At sea - Week 1

When last heard from, we were just on the point of leaving Bermuda’s St George’s Harbour at 15:30 on Tuesday April 16, with pilot aboard and followed by the pilot boat. Pilot escorted us from our dockside mooring to the opening of the narrow passage that opens out to the Atlantic and then having hopped aboard the pilot boat that had pulled up alongside, left us to the open sea.

Every scrap of sail that she could carry was then raised….

Last day in port!

This is perforce a brief post, as we will be leaving the dock shortly. Water pump has not yet arrived but seemingly it’s on the island, and as I understand it, we will leave as soon as it’s delivered and make the repairs while underway. At the moment the fuel tanker is alongside and filling the bunkers so within the next couple of hours we will be off.

Yesterday was a make and mend day, cleaning up and making ready for sea. I posted the blog, wandered into town for lunch, and took it relatively easy. Not much to report, everyone is impatient to be off and we still have about 2,000 nautical miles to cover to get to the Azores so every day in port is cutting into our scheduled arrival date, but with favourable winds we should be ok….