Atlantic Crossing West to East – Part Two

Part One of the Atlantic Crossing West to East towards the Azores can be found under this LINK.

Day 8
  • Distance last 24 hrs: 64 nm
  • Total Distance: 799 nm
  • Engine hours last 24 hrs: 2,7 hours
  • Approx heading: 045
  • Breakfast: Youghurt with musli
  • Lunch: Poke Bowl
  • Dinner: Carbonara leftovers
  • Sunrise/Sunset (UTC): 9:10/22:41
  • Water temperature (Celsius): 23

After drifting the entire night because the engine made strange vibrations, we started the day with testing the engine. The vibrations were gone and the engine was running smoothly again. It was probably something stuck in the propeller that had gotten loose during the night. We didn’t run the engine very long since the wind had started to pick up, so we hoisted the sails instead. We made good progress during the day. We tried to fish, but didn’t catch anything this day either. It was sunny but we could feel that the air has become a lot cooler than when we started.

Poke Bowl for lunch.
Day 9
  • Distance last 24 hrs: 124 nm
  • Total Distance: 923 nm
  • Engine hours last 24 hrs: 0 hours
  • Approx heading: 055
  • Breakfast: Buns with cheese/marmalade and tea
  • Lunch: Carbonara
  • Dinner: Poke Bowl
  • Sunrise/Sunset (UTC): 9:00/22:36
  • Water temperature (Celsius): 22

During the night, at Petras nightshift, she woke up from her nap by a loud bang. Took a look around and realized that the genoa halyard had snapped, and the sail was in the water. We took the sail up from the water and hoisted one of our other headsails for the cutterstay. The night itself was also very cold. During the day we tried to make sure that the genoa got dry. The genoa halyard is made out of wire and we didn’t have material and so on to fix it during the crossing (when we got to Horta we replaced the wire). Our main goal was therefore to make sure we got the genoa nice and dry so that we could store it. We made good speed during the day anyway, with the biggest headsail for the cutterstay and the main.

Day 10
  • Distance last 24 hrs: 98 nm
  • Total Distance: 1021 nm
  • Engine hours last 24 hrs: 1,7 hours
  • Approx heading: 050
  • Breakfast: Buns with cheese/marmalade and tea
  • Lunch: Pasta with pesto
  • Dinner: Knorr-pasta
  • Sunrise/Sunset (UTC): 8:51/22:33
  • Water temperature (Celsius): 21

Cold and humid during the night. The boat was covered dew in the morning, so we got rid of all salt. It hadn’t rain anytime since we left Sint Maarten and the boat was covered with salt crystals. When the dew came it took most of it away. During the night we saw some lightning in the distance, fortunately it didn’t come close to us. We ran the engine for a while in the morning to catch up with Sanuti once more. When we stopped the engine and hoisted the sails again we soon realized that we had lost the steering! We quickly took down the sails again and launched our sea anchor so we could investigate what had happened. When we took down the sails we had a pod of dolphins jumping around the boat. When the boat stopped they all looked very confused and stayed for a while to see if we would start moving again anytime soon. We started investigating the steering and quickly saw that it was one of the wires for the steering that had snapped, so we took a part of the genoa halyard and replaced to replace the broken steering wire with (once in Horta we replaced it again to a new one). After 4 hours adrift we had the new steering wire in position and we could continue and took up the sea anchor. We noticed that it had spun around a lot and thus it didn’t work as it should. A lesson learned and when we launched the sea anchor again a couple of days later we did some adjustments, but more on that later.  We set sail and ate lunch, we were both very tired and hungry. We did some sail changes during the day, ran the engine and then hoisted sails again. At one point when we hoisted the biggest headsail, we noticed that it had teared a bit. We took it down again and hoisted the second biggest instead. We were too tired to take care of the sail this day so we left for the day after. In the evening the wind died and we started the engine. We had a lot of current against us (1-1,5 knots).

Trying to fix steering wire, not easy with all the waves making a lot of movements on the rudder. We have an emergency tiller which we fixed the rudder with while we worked with the wires.
A cool sunset.
Day 11
  • Distance last 24 hrs: 89 nm
  • Total Distance: 1110 nm
  • Engine hours last 24 hrs:  20,2 hours
  • Approx heading: 060
  • Breakfast: Buns with cheese/marmalade and tea
  • Lunch: Poke Bowl
  • Dinner: Pizza
  • Sunrise/Sunset (UTC): 8:42/22:28
  • Water temperature (Celsius): 23

It was a calm night on engine without anything major happening. Yesterday was cloudy weather but today the sun is shining. We saw a bird that looked like some kind of eagle that tried to land on our mizzen mast. We have seen a lot of Portuguese Man O’War (a colonial organism which looks like a jellyfish, they sting quite badly). We spent the afternoon repairing the sail that teared yesterday. It is no wind so we have used the engine all day, and still have a lot of current against us. We also saw Bottlenose Dolphins, when we see dolphins we usually see Common Dolphins. The Bottlenoses were much bigger!

Sail repair!
Day 12
  • Distance last 24 hrs: 98 nm
  • Total Distance: 1208 nm
  • Engine hours last 24 hrs: 22,4 hours
  • Approx heading: 070
  • Breakfast: Buns with cheese/marmalade and tea
  • Lunch: Pasta with pesto
  • Dinner: Instant Noodles
  • Sunrise/Sunset (UTC): 8:34/22:24
  • Water temperature (Celsius): 20

A calm night by engine with current against us once more. Hoisted the sails after breakfast, wing on wing. Got visited by some dolphins. Did some more sewing on the biggest headsail, added some extra fabric on places that looked worn out in hopes that it won’t tear up again. It was sunny all day and we had halfway celebration with real champagne (if you read about our Atlantic crossing towards the Caribbean you know that we bought very cheap sparkling wine in Cape Verde for halfway celebration and it turned out to be non-drinkable).

Halfway celebration!
Day 13
  • Distance last 24 hrs: 108 nm
  • Total Distance: 1316 nm
  • Engine hours last 24 hrs: 1 hour
  • Approx heading: 070
  • Breakfast: Newly baked buns withe cheese and marmalade and tea
  • Lunch: Pasta with pesto
  • Dinner: Canned Gulasch-soup with homemade bread and creme fraiche
  • Sunrise/Sunset (UTC): 8:24/22:18
  • Water temperature (Celsius): 20

Still a lot of current against us in the morning. We are starting to loose Sanuti after sailing together for almost two weeks. Since we don’t have the genoa anymore we have a hard time keeping up with them. Saw dolphins this morning as well. Our autopilot drive unit gave up during the day and our windvane had some trouble steering the boat in low winds but we managed to get it to steer good enough. But we realized that it probably needs a thorough cleaning session. In the afternoon the current changed direction and after a couple of days sailing against the current we had it with us.

Day 14
  • Distance last 24 hrs: 127 nm
  • Total Distance: 1443 nm
  • Engine hours last 24 hrs: 0 hours
  • Approx heading: 080
  • Breakfast: Buns with cheese/marmalade and tea
  • Lunch: Garlic bread with salami and olives
  • Dinner: Quickfried tuna with potatoes and chili-mayo
  • Sunrise/Sunset (UTC): 8:12/22:10
  • Water temperature (Celsius): 20

We have had good winds all day. The windvane has been able to steer the boat, and we have been sailing straight against the target. We have had some current against us, but not so much and sometimes no current at all. Today, just before lunch we had less than 1000 nautical miles left. Have spent some time reading and so on.

Day 15
  • Distance last 24 hrs: 116 nm
  • Total Distance: 1559 nm
  • Engine hours last 24 hrs: 0,3 hours
  • Approx heading: 090
  • Breakfast: Buns with cheese/marmalade and tea
  • Lunch: Garlic bread with salami and olives
  • Dinner: Quickfried tuna with potatoes and chili-mayo
  • Sunrise/Sunset (UTC): 8:01/22:03
  • Water temperature (Celsius): 20

During the night we had to do some sail changes since the wind picked up a bit. In the morning we had a lot of waves in the cockpit. After lunch it calmed down. We got notice that some bad weather that was incoming in about 3-4 days, so we changed to a more southerly course. We saw a Spanish fishing vessel from Galicia. The wind died out even more during the afternoon and we had to start the engine and hand-steer. It started to rain, so it was not very nice. We got some wind late afternoon/evening again but when it died out again during the night we decided to drift a couple of hours instead of handsteering in pouring rain.

Hand-steering in the rain…
Day 16
  • Distance last 24 hrs: 95 nm
  • Total Distance: 1654 nm
  • Engine hours last 24 hrs: 9,2 hours
  • Approx heading: 095
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with apple sauce
  • Lunch: Knorr-pasta
  • Dinner: Canned Gulasch-soup with creme fraiche.
  • Sunrise/Sunset (UTC): 7:55/21:56
  • Water temperature (Celsius): 20

After a couple of hours adrift during the night we had some wind in the morning and could sail again. Since our windvane hadn’t been working very well and our autopilot had broke down we decided to take down the windvane and to do a service of it. It rained almost the entire day and Petra sat out handsteering while Thomas serviced the windvane. After the service the windvane worked much better! It continued to rain all day and evening. When the wind died out and we took down the sails we decided to drift the entire night. We really didn’t want to handsteer in rain all night.

To be continued….

All our blog posts related to Atlantic crossings can be found under the link HERE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *