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Jeff Log6

Posted by Jeff on Sunday, June 10th, 2007 at 2:40 pm

First Mate Golden reporting:
Yesterday was a real doozy for us. While it was not so bad for me compared to a few days ago — I played the guitar a lot — generally I think it was a low morale-wise for everyone. It’s mostly the monotony and how long this trip has ended up taking. A couple times people remarked how the day just dragged by. And while nobody could outright complain about the weather because we had good winds driving us directly toward our destination at a fast clip, it was gray as far as you would see in every direction, and it was the coldest day yet. I actually put on my long underwear and put socks and shoes on my feet which have otherwise been bare for over two straight weeks. The sea was choppy with some big rollers, so it was a prime day for seasickness as well.
THEN we got our most bitter batch of Herb stew yet. Herb reported that there was a storm building over the Azores. Everyone further away than us he warned to keep a good distance. Us he gave two choices. Either turn and sail back away from the Azores for a day to the give storm even more room than the two-days worth for travel still be between us, or rush on and try to beat it. If we turned away we would likely not arrive at the Azores until Thursday or Friday. If we went for it there was a good chance we could get there before the worst of it hit, plus if we did get caught in it, it sounded like it wouldn’t be much different from one of the storms we already went through. Herb predicted 35-40 knot winds with 15-20 ft swells. The storm we went through already hit 40 knots and had 15 ft swells. And these swells would be coming from behind us instead of in front of us.
Those of you who know me know exactly the decision I would have made, but as first mate, I don’t have much pull here. However, the Captain and Admiral decided to go for it anyway. They had us head on through the night at a good pace. Then we downloaded some weather info this morning and it indicated that the winds in the storm would only be 20-25 knots, something that we have frequently experienced. And then David spoke with another boat about 100 miles behind us who has his own Herb he counts on who had written him that morning that the storm over the Azores was dissipating. So it looks like so far we made the right decision.
Today’s weather has been pretty cool but sunny, with strong winds from the north driving us due east at between 7 and 8 knots for the most part. We hope to arrive at Horta on Tuesday morning about 7am local time. We’ll go to customs, fuel up, and will hopefully be on land by noon. We’ll be one elated group of people when we get to stand on solid ground. Keep your fingers crossed that it’s soon!

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