All in Blue Clipper

Sunday August 11, Arendal Norway

An interesting couple of days’ journeys since my last post. On Thursday we left our anchorage right after breakfast, raised sails and headed for Gothenburg, an old university town and the second largest city in Sweden. Winds were not helpful, Force 2, so not really moving the boat with any speed, so on with the engine expecting our motor-sail to cover the 70-odd nautical miles by late evening. As the day drew in with our boat speed hovering between 4 and 5 knots it was clear that it would be very late evening or early morning before we arrived, so picked a very nice anchorage about 3 hour’s sail from Gothenburg and tied up for the night….

At sea, Sweden, Wednesday August 7

Following our train journey on Sunday, tiresome to read about I’m sure, and tiring to experience, it was with real pleasure that we found our boat moored in the midst of a flotilla of tall ships on the Aarhus docks. The whole area was filled with masses of people, vendor’s tents and tall ships at their moorings. The harbour in Aarhus was the final destination of the annual tall ships race which begins and ends in different venues each year. This year’s race began off Bergen, Norway and after 8 day’s hard sailing, finished off Aarhus, the fleet then mooring in Aarhus where a Tall Ships Festival was underway. We joined at the tail end, many of the ships having already left by Sunday afternoon but Blue Clipper and a number of others were still at their moorings…..

Copenhagen 1

The last time I wrote I was in the Azores having sailed from Bermuda, and now here I am in Copenhagen, continuing what has clearly become a very bad habit. But before I begin....it has been a wonderful summer, at least for some of us. It began in late May with the start of the Cricket World Cup, a quadrennial event, this year hosted in the UK….

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…