Land ahoy…not quite yet

Land Ahoy……………ok well not quite yet…..but hopefully by the time this goes out that will be the case as we have 63 miles to go……however, we are currently sailing along at about 3 to 4 knots with only the cruising chute up in rather light winds…..we are out of fuel……well, we have enough to motor in to the harbour when we get there but not enough to motor all the way there. Its 5 am and I have just come off the helm. We are doing half an hour each as it takes a lot of concentration to keep on course and the pressure is on to do so as the sail flaps horribly and James winces a lot (I am sure Clare also grimaces in her sleep) if we go off course. We would also like to arrive early enough tomorrow to enjoy some of the day there and at least to catch last orders at the bar….at the moment our arrival time is showing late tomorrow evening currently dare I say it after midnight. It would be nice to eat dinner on land. It has amazed me how well we have eaten all month, even this last week after all the fresh veg had run out, we have had dried mushrooms that came all the way from Stornoway, some frozen veg that had been put in the freezer just before it went off, some tinned vegetables and still plenty of meat. However, yesterday’s meal was corned beef smash. We were served huge helpings along with baked beans and peas. I managed about a quarter of what was on my plate. There was quite a bit left….
We visited the Mucky Duck last night for our weekly quiz. This week run by Clare, Andy T and James. Clare started us off with questions on our destination – the Azores. A topic that as a group considering, as James pointed out, we have travelled over 4 thousand miles to get to, knew surprisingly little about. So we all learnt a thing or two, including the name of the island we are going to – Sao Miguel. James tested our observation skills with questions on the saloon….we apparently have 15 flies on the fly strip….and Andy questioned us on Tom Cunliffe’s sense of humour in his Yacht Master book. He had found some very amusing comparisons in there. Apparently a carrier pigeon can be used to help parking the boat on piles and he compares a downwind passage in light winds without a cruising chute to a day without sunshine……and booze as a health-promoting herbal drink.
Andy ended his round by handing out face paints and asking each team to pick someone to be painted as a clown. I am not sure who decided it should be me but I found myself being made up by Bob and Emma (Nick was on the helm as our watch was on duty…this is the 3rd quiz in a row that we have been out in the “beer garden” rather than in the warmth of the puket…). At the end the 3 clowns were asked to stand up to be judged. Jon and Rachel had also drawn the short straws and were looking equally ridiculous. Unfortunately someone had left out a bowl of corned beef smash on the table. Jon jokingly picked it up and said “cream pie fight”……well, lets just say all three of us required a shower after and the cockpit needed a good scrub! I am not sure I ever want to eat or smell corned beef again!!!!
This is day 29 at sea. Day 28 was beautiful, sunny and windy. We were gliding along most of the day at 8.5 knots with the cruising chute up. Lovely.
The night watches last night were lucky enough to see dolphins swimming in phosphorescence on the bow. Apparently it was incredible. (Like a grown man playing with sparklers according to Andy) Next time I am going to get them to wake me! Also spotted yesterday during the day by Sarah (head of the Partially Sighted Wildlife Spotters’ Club) were what at first looked like big fish jumping followed closely by mini dolphins….there were also more birds than we have had for a few weeks. Our wake up call this morning was done by Sari who asked if we would like cheese or apricot jam on our scone! It was a little difficult to make the decision straight away as it was 4am! They were very good, I had mine with just butter. (We still have butter after a month!)
Its now 7.15am and the main has gone up, the wind is much the same but we are now doing closer to 5 knots and arrival time is getting earlier…come on wind…dinner and drinks on land today please!! (55 miles to go)
love to everyone at home, I will call when we get there!
Raffe xxx
Good morning! Just a short note to add to Raffe’s blog as this will be my last day sailing on-board Elinca – unless the wind dies completely of course but I think some of the crew are so looking forward to hitting terra firma we would get the paddles out! This trip has been amazing and it’s hard to get my head around the fact we have sailed 4000 miles and spend a month at sea. It is an experience that I will never forget, I have been lucky enough to visit Rio and experience a taste of life in South America, met some fantastic people and have loved every minute of the sailing, although I was more than ready to change course and stop heeling over at 25deg after a week or so! I am slightly concerned how I am going to fit back into a normal working day – I need a break every 4 hours now and someone to cook all my meals every third day – it will be a real shock to the system. So a big thank you to everyone who has made this trip possible, obviously Clare, James and all the people who are involved in Adventure2013 but also those at home – I couldn’t have had this mini adventure of my own without the support of Craig, Megan and Elvie too. Now to start planning the next trip………………
Em xx
Good morning, short note to add from me to Emma and Raffe’s blog as it will also be my last day sailing on Elinca, looks like we will arrive in the Azores some time pm today, this mornings watch started with very little wind but has built over the last four hours, with lots of wildlife coming to see us this. with a group of five whales and a number of dolphins popping by to check our progress. This has been my first real sailing trip, so having now done 4000 miles seems unreal, but have done it crossed the Atlantic Wow. This would have not been possible without some very special people who had an idea which became Adventure 2013 and were kind enough to share it with so many people, its been a fantastic trip something i will never forget, learnt a great deal about myself and met many new friends, not sure about returning to normal, may take some time!!!!!!!!!!!
Big thank you James and Clare and all the team involved ,for letting me share your Adventure. I was made to feel right at home from day one.
Love to everyone at home
Bob xx

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