Week two from Bermuda to the Azores, well, it’s actually 10 days because its a week of ocean time (you know, where time doesn’t matter), was a mix of everything!
First we had no wind and a nice break from all the fast sailing we had done. This gave us time to relax and celebrate my 31st birthday! Then the winds came back and we made our way East towards the Azores.
We sailed about 707 miles in these 10 days, averaging 70 miles per day and a speed of 2.9 knots. I know that seems slow, but we actually bobbed around for about 4 days with no wind, and when the winds returned, they were still rather light.
The light winds gave us the opportunity to appreciate the ocean in a way few do. Usually, calm conditions is when most cruisers crank on their engines and power their way through to the finish. Hull speed is easily achieved at a modest fuel consumption of around 2 gallons per hour. Cruisers have the fuel to burn and the intolerance for sitting still to justify the expense of the fuel, so off they go at full speed!
Us on the other hand do not have the ability to motor at hull speed for days. Instead, this is when we look out at the horizon and at the fish that are hiding in the shadow of our boats hull. We saw marlin and tuna swimming around our boat, as well as many Man-O-War.
These scary siphonophores are incredibly intricate! I had never before taken the time to notice the detailed pattern of their sail and how their balloon portion is slightly curved like a pastry and somewhat resembling a liver (with the different lobes making it larger on one side and pointy on the other).
We were also graced by the presence of many marine mammals. A whale came to check us out one day and surfaced close to us a few times before diving off into the distance and a massive pod of dolphins came to play with us when we were sailing along at speeds in excess of 6 knots.
No matter the time of day, not even if I just came off watch and only want to sleep; the chance to see dolphins in the wild is always a worthwhile moment to be awake!
This week has also had some interesting neighbors which I identified on the satellite tracker interface. The skull and crossbones is Hurricane Chris, which we were avoiding, the windmill is the next waypoint we should head (according to our friends with Predict Wind), the boat is the position of our Australian friends who left Bermuda a few days before us, and then the islands of the Azores are marked with lighthouses and trees.
Aside from the marine friends we had encountered out there at sea, my second favorite part of this week (and any afternoon at sea actually) are the sunsets. Each is as unique as mathematically possible, and each more interesting than the last; except on cloudless days with an approaching low pressure system, those sunsets are rather boring.
We have been at sea with no sight of land for a long time and we have not seen another human since we left Bermuda, but oddly, we are doing great and enjoying each day at sea for what it has to offer.