We are now back in Plymouth after a great trip from Santa Maria in the Azores, 1564 nautical miles for our log books. Just needed a few days to catch our breath and do some jobs before writing this blog – all done now and we are ready for our next season – Summer in Norway. Thanks to all of you who sent e mails with best wishes – I shall now get around to answering them!
We added to the adventure of our new crew who joined us in the Azores by getting them to catch an extra flight from San Miguel to Santa Maria. Yes, we ended up ‘stormbound’ there for a week. Fortunately the day the guests arrived was the day that the weather turned and we had blue skies and sunshine for both our training day and first days sailing.
The wind strength was kinder to us this year than in many past years, we had a maximum wind force of a 7 – on the day we left the Azores and then again the day we arrived in Plymouth. Our bigger problem was lack of wind, and at one stage we wondered whether we might have to motor the whole way. Fortunately not – although the wind was never too strong in the centre of the high – it was always on our nose and we managed to create enough apparent wind to ghost along at 5 knots. We had some blue days and some grey days – and boy was it cold!
We had many fantastic sunrises and sunsets – some cloudy nights with no stars and some clear nights with the whole sky covered in them. Aided by Martins app – Google stars – we managed to identify a lot of them and also three planets, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter.
We had dolphin sightings and whale sightings and small little birds resting on the deck a long way from home.
There was the odd job to do on passage – including taking down the roller reefing yankee one day to fix the block on the clew before hoisting it up again – all in a days work!
Some watches there were lots to do and others were kind of quiet so we kept ourselves entertained chatting, singing and reciting poetry.
My favourite – Martins rendition of Sea Fever by John Masefield – which to me says it all!
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over
If we’ve whetted your appetite for a long passage, there are still 2 places left on our next one, North to Norway from Oban to Bodo. 1200 miles broken down into a 350nm passage to the Shetlands, a 650 nm passage to the islands south of Bodo and 200nm of coastal cruising – more details here. Last minute price reduction to £995 for 15 nights from 17th May to 1st June – why not join us.