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

17 June – Horta-lotta-ups-and-downs

I was feeling a bit despondent yesterday with the thought of total calm today and then a walloping on the way into Horta but, although this is not off the cards, I’ve received help from an unexpected quarter. There must be a big depression N & W of me because the swell from that direction

15 June: So near and yet so far?

Overnight the wind just disappeared and left us wallowing. Déja vu all over again? So it’s me and Olleanna racing thousands of bluebottle type floating creatures that cover the sea around here like nature’s version of bubble wrap. I think they’re floating faster though. 430 miles to Horta, but it may as well be 4300

13 June – 09:10 EAST!

The good news for me is that from around midnight, local time, the wind started to veer into the SE and then to the S. It stayed light and maybe dropped a little further but Ellen needed no encouragement and took the lifts towards Azores. At dawn this morning, we were headed directly into the

Friday, 10 June 12h00 UTC

It’s very seldom that a sailor is able to just point his boat at the place he wants to sail to and arrive there by sailing in a straight line! This is partly due to the design of sailboats which preclude them from sailing directly in the direction that the wind is coming from. Destinations

7 June – On moving North

One thing that happens as one spends time at sea, is that one becomes far more aware of, and in tune with the sky, the sea and the seasons they define. I left Cape Town at the end of April as it was starting to get into the Cape winter and the most natural thing

4 June: Ellen 1, Watson -1

When it got light enough to see outside this morning, I had a flash of déja vu. My rigging looked as if Olleanna had spent the last few weeks in Port Elizabeth harbour as it was covered in streaks of light brown dust. Fortunately, this is not manganese ore, but sand from somewhere to the

2 June – the joys of celestial navigation

20h00 UTC There is a good reason that GPS was invented. It’s to stop amateurs like me from throwing sextants, nautical almanacs or chronometers (or possibly all of them) overboard in frustration when trying to shoot an unwilling heavenly body! This afternoon, about half an hour before sunset, it looked like I would get a

2 June – Choppy seas and a cup of tea

We’re making some great progress through the water at the moment with two of the best day’s runs of the trip so far on yesterday and Tuesday. This has come as a pleasant surprise for me because I knew Olleanna was fast off the wind, but she’s showing pedigree when almost close-hauled as well. We’re

31 May – Hello from Boris

I think I can safely say we’re through the doldrums now. We’ve had 30 hours of 15-20 knot NE wind allowing me to set a course to a waypoint west of the Azores where we can hopefully work our way around the Azores high from. That’s the theory anyway. I decided to give myself a

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