19 June 13:38 – Pigeons and statues

As the saying goes, some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue! Today is definitely a statue kind of day! We’re thumping along to windward trying to make some east direction and the wind has veered from the NE to due East. On paper, I only have 86 miles to Horta, but given the algebra (or is it geometry) that cannot be ignored, I’ve got at least double that distance to sail. I will no longer give ETA’s and will just be happy to get there when I get there!The wind is blowing between 26-30 knots across the deck and the sea is one of those ones where, if you were surfing downwind and having an absolute blast, and you looked over your shoulder you’d think “I’m glad I’m not sailing into that sea!”.

I have a double-reefed mainsail and about 1/3 of the genoa unfurled. I’ve considered deploying the staysail but it’s a ‘race sail’ so I don’t want to stretch or damage it unnecessarily and I also need the power up front to punch through these waves. I’m aiming to get into the lee of Faial where with some luck the water will be flatter and the wind a bit more sociable. Aiming at the mountain’s shadow so to speak.

At least I’m not alone.

There’s another ‘statue’ about a mile to windward of me, heading in the same direction. I must have caught them up in the dark and they may have power issues as they weren’t showing any navigation lights, nor are they transmitting AIS data. They’re about the same size, maybe 35-36’, definitely a cruising boat and are very slowly falling astern with their deep reefed main and staysail combination. The forecasts are not looking promising, so this is probably my lot for the next two days. With that, I think I’ll go back to my bunk and continue to re-read one of favourite novels of all time, The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts. How apt?

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