sailing from Azores to UK
Atlantic Circuit,  Atlantic Europe & Africa,  Northern Europe,  Sailing

Sailing from the Azores to UK

After we had been on the Azores a couple of weeks it was time for us to start sailing to the UK. We started sailing from the Azores to UK June 11th. We left the Azores in June so that we would be able to make it back home to Sweden before August. We started working again September 1st and wanted to have some spare time so we wouldn’t have to stress for the last part of the sail. We also wanted to arrive to Sweden before the Swedish summer ended.

sailing from Azores to UK
Ready to start sailing from the Azores to UK.
Day 0 – June 11, 2021

After the drama with the autopilot, when we started our sail to UK, only to return and pick up our autopilot drive unit, we left for real. It was after dinnertime when we left Horta. We started the nightshifts almost immediately and after a couple of hours we lost sight of the Azores islands.

Day 1 – June 12, 2021
  • Approximate course: 030
  • Distance last 24 hours: 76
  • Total distance: 76
  • Engine hours: –
  • Sunrise/sunset: 06:22/21:20

We motored almost all day. It was no wind and very sunny and warm. Sat a lot in the bow of the boat, keeping a lookout for wildlife. We saw a lot of dolphins, a dead turtle, a part of a giant squid arm, an animal, which we think was, and eel and whales on a distance. We saw the blows on the horizon and saw a tail fin come up and then disappear under the surface. Have seen a lot of Portuguese Man O’Wars and at least 3 different types of jellyfish.

sailing from azores to uk
On the lookout for wildlife.
Day 2 – June 13, 2021
  • Approximate course: 030
  • Distance last 24 hours: 87
  • Total distance: 163
  • Engine hours: 21.3 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 06:12/21:21

Sunny and no wind this day as well. Saw another dead turtle with a lot of mussels or something on its body. In the afternoon we sailed 1-2 knots for a couple of hours. We didn’t want to arrive to early to UK (due to covid-19 restrictions). Made a chocolate mudcake. Had a single dolphin swimming by the bow for a while.

A pretty sunset.
Day 3 – June 14, 2021
  • Approximate course: 060
  • Distance last 24 hours: 90
  • Total distance: 253
  • Engine hours: 14.8 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 06:03/21:22

More wind this day, sailed wing-on-wing and sailed approximately 3-4 knots. Listened to a podcast and mostly just chilled. Had dolphins by the boat today as well. Saw very few Portuguese Man O’Wars today.

Pizza dinner.
Day 4 – June 15, 2021
  • Approximate course: 070
  • Distance last 24 hours: 93
  • Total distance: 346
  • Engine hours: 0 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 05:53/21:17

Even more wind this day and we sailed beam reach almost entire day. Has been cloudy and more waves than previous days. We both were affected by the waves and mostly chilled.

Day 5 – June 16, 2021
  • Approximate course: 060
  • Distance last 24 hours: 113
  • Total distance: 459
  • Engine hours: 0 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 05:40/21:10

Wind increased even more, sailed quite fast. It has been sunny today. We both still felt affected by the waves so we mostly chilled today as well.

The waves made us really tired, and we didn’t do much, just rested.
Day 6 – June 17, 2021
  • Approximate course: 070
  • Distance last 24 hours: 113
  • Total distance: 572
  • Engine hours: 0 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 05:26/21:10

During the night we noticed a very sudden wind increase. From no wind (and sailing 1 knot) to a lot of wind (sailing 5 knots) without seeing it beforehand. We usually have our sails reefed at night and in moments like this it is very nice to not have too much sails up. The wind died out a bit during the day. We had a quite chill day today as well and saw a lot of dolphins.

Day 7 – june 18, 2021
  • Approximate course: 040
  • Distance last 24 hours: 96
  • Total distance: 668
  • Engine hours: 15.4 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 05:14/21:07

Motored almost the entire night, as there was no wind. In the afternoon the winds picked up again. Had to spend some time adjusting the windvane. It has been cloudy and quite cold today.

Perfect with pizza and movie when it is cold and cloudy outside.
Day 8 – june 19, 2021
  • Approximate course: 020
  • Distance last 24 hours: 119
  • Total distance: 787
  • Engine hours: 0.1 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 05:00/21:06

A lot of wind today, and a lot of rain in the morning. We have prepared for upcoming stronger winds. Very cold today as well.

Day 9 – june 20, 2021
  • Approximate course: 090
  • Distance last 24 hours: 88
  • Total distance: 875
  • Engine hours: 0 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 04:50/21:00

We have sailed close-hauled all day, through strong winds from north/northeast. The winds were about 20-25 knots on average according to the forecast (we don’t have any wind instrument). We have felt a bit seasick and tired.

Day 10 – june 21, 2021
  • Approximate course: 090
  • Distance last 24 hours: 103
  • Total distance: 978
  • Engine hours: 0 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 04:38/20:55

Still strong winds and a lot of waves. It calmed down a bit in the afternoon. We just chilled as we were a bit seasick still.

Day 11 – june 22, 2021
  • Approximate course: 055
  • Distance last 24 hours: 88
  • Total distance: 1066
  • Engine hours: 0 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 04:28/20:50

Calmer weather today and sun was out all day! Made better speed and our mood was a lot better today. And we had the most amazing ending of the day! When we just had eaten dinner (we ate inside the boat watching a series) we went out to watch the dolphins. We had a big pod of dolphins around the boat and it was a pretty pink sky. When we were watching the dolphins we saw whale blows on the horizon. It was a lot of activity, both whales and dolphins hunting. We stayed out and watched for a while and saw more blows, on both starboard and port side, but still quite far away. And then, all of a sudden a whale surfaced just in front of us!! It was maybe a one or two boat lengths in front of us! And then another one came up as well! So cool! We think it was fin whales, the second largest whale! So glad we got to see some whales close up!

Day 12 – june 23, 2021
  • Approximate course: 060
  • Distance last 24 hours: 113
  • Total distance: 1179
  • Engine hours: 10,9 hours
  • Sunrise/sunset: 04:12/20:44

When we approached Wales and Milford Haven there was a lot of fog, the visibility was very bad. We motored really slow. We had a lot of wildlife around the boat. It was a very still and calm morning. Me (Petra) sat out in the cockpit watching all the animals around the boat and enjoyed this beautiful memory. Now back in Sweden after the trip is over, this morning is one of the most beautiful mornings I’ve had during the trip. Thinking back on it makes me miss the sea a bit. Saw dolphins, mink whales (I think), seals, puffins and a lot of other seabirds.

The fog cleared up, as we got closer to Milford Haven. We sailed into the inlet and through the loch into the marina in Milford Haven.

sailing from azores to uk
A lot of fog when we sailed into Milford Haven.

We arrived to Wales June 25th, after 12 days sailing from the Azores to UK. We sailed quite slow so that we wouldn’t have to quarantine (due to covid-19) before entering. Will write more about the entry process (covid-19 and Brexit) to UK in next post.

Here is the YouTube video from our sail from the Azores to UK, we speak Swedish mostly in our videos but all have English subtitles.

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