Last night, we left Terceira at 1800. As we motored out of the harbor, we stowed the dock lines and the fenders. We had daylight for a couple of hours, so were able to see the sails and trim properly. Before departing, I was not sure about an evening departure. I questioned voluntarily submitting to a night of interrupted sleep. I was on for the 2200 shift. Roy had trimmed the sails well and we were cruising at a comfortable 7-8 kts, very pleasant. Himmel was .2 nm behind us and Principal Interest was about the same in front of us. During my shift the wind picked up to 14-16 and we were doing a solid 8 – 8.5 kts. During the next two hours we passed Principal Interest and put more than a 1 nm between us and both boots.
Carlos took over after my shift. About an hour into his shift there was a gust of wind that suddenly heeled us over, not to the point of putting the sails in the water. It was enough to shut off the autopilot. Carlos was teethed to the table and unable to get to the helm in time to avert a 360. I slept through it, while Roy emerged from his cabin to help. It turned out the gusting winds returned to a steady 14-15 kts. My morning shift started at 0600 and the wind had dropped to 6-8 kts. Eventually, we dropped the sails and I steered us to Ponta Delgada. Carlos parked us in a slip. While Kathy and Carlos went to customs to check us in, I had granola and several cups of English Breakfast tea. Very tranquil start of the day. After the experience of the 90 nm night sail, I decided I liked it. Something worth doing in the future.
On the way to meet Carlos and Kathy, and the Migaloo and Prinicpal Interest crews, Roy and I came across an 585 Oyster that was rafted up to us in Bermuda. Back in Bermuda on board of North Wind, we shared a number of drinks with Louie and his crew. Louie had mentioned his dad woul be taking the boat from the Azores. Sure enough, we introduced ourselves to John, Louie’s dad, and were invited aboard. He welcomed us by giving us an indepth tour of the boat; electronics, galley, thruhulls, cabins, and hydraulics for winches, furling genoa, backstay, etc. Burled wood on the table was worthy of a photo, but I did not have my camera. Oysters are build in Great Britton and if you think of a parellel to autos, it would be comparable to a Rolls Royce. John insisted on gin and tonics, so that delayed enough that we missed dinner with the other crews.