WRITTEN BY NATASCHA, ERICA AND EMILIE
ON LEG TWO FROM AZORES TO ANTIGUA WITH COPERNICUS MARINE SERVICE
2274 nautical miles in our rhumb line to go – four days late – my “thanks” goes out to Pablo and Rebekah. On the 1st of October we set sail – we left port, first hoisting our mainsail and setting off in 20-25 knots of wind. We practised our required ‘Wo’Man Over Board drills, put our Yankee out when we hit the 3-4 meters high waves and then we were on our way.
We sailed best to wind for the first couple of days – at about 200 degrees on our ship’s compass. Then the wind swung west and we were able to sail directly toward our destination of Antigua at 250 degrees. Unfortunately for the sailing part, the wind died and we were bound to motor on and off for a couple of days – ideal for science though – especially because we hit the Gyre earlier than expected. Luckily the wind gods came back, blowing in from the northwest, but people got too comfortable and too chatty on the helm—not paying close attention to sailing the somewhat challenging course, as according to our map one night we apparently were very fond of Africa and Brasil! Thankfully, the wind did change back northeast for us to point directly at Antigua again – we then stretched out the headsail with our pole and sailed straight towards our goal.
When we hit the trade winds the pole came down, and now we are sailing downwind with full sail.
Our average speed is 7,3 knots – and when it gets faster than this, it’s known by our crew as the “espresso-martini-speed” trying to be arriving in Falmouth Harbour for Friday night cocktails – which is probably and unfortunately a long shot. As of this Monday, the 11th of November and the 10th day of sailing around 1600 hours, we have sailed about 1829 nautical miles over the water not always towards Antigua. Weather visibility has been quite good all the way – except for a few squalls which also includes big gusts of wind.
Sailing now at 250 degrees, winds are coming from the east, the sea state is about 2-3 meters –– we are using the winds wisely and are staying concentrated on the helm so we can get to Antigua as soon as possible with hopefully our best “espresso-martini-speed”. All is good – hold fast.
At this time: 24⁰45.172’N – 049⁰32.290’W
Halfway point: 27⁰33.359’N – 044⁰41.057’W