Hot Rocks

Our first glimpses of Faial were through a heavy mist and it was remarkable in its greenness. The islands are undoubtedly volcanic and the isthmus we had to round before heading up to Horta was clearly originally the rim of a volcano. The small fields were bordered by hedges and the whole impression was one... Continue Reading →


As we close in on the Azores, yachts crossing the Atlantic funnel towards the island of Faial and the harbour at Horta. It has become one of the four busiest yacht transit harbours in the world. Zooming out on the plotter I can see 13 vessels within AIS range homing in on the refuge and... Continue Reading →

Panto in Guildford

Torrential rain, thunder and lightning, lumpy sea and semi darkness did not augur well for the day as we were forced to motor to try to beat the storm into Horta. We had spotted the threatening weather system on our long term weather forecast nearly a week ago but it has only just shown on... Continue Reading →

Sailing Explained

While off watch at 0300, I had a knock on the door as Ollie was concerned about an AIS indicator and enormous radar reflection apparently coming our way. He had rightly scrolled the data and established that the Sofia Express, bound for New York would pass us 1 mile away but its track was seemingly... Continue Reading →

Barry’s Bloated Bladder

The settled windless weather has resulted in the sea eventually losing its boisterous attitude and we continued to motor while the crew stirred themselves. Our first job was to decant the diesel bladder (loaned to Hejira by Barry) contents into our fuel tank and it was very heartening to see the starboard tank needle rise... Continue Reading →

Bill Shock

The drone of the engine greeted my watch with little wind and that from behind and AWOL trailing in our wake. The wind was due to veer to the NW and this duly happened at about 0600. The wind now just behind our beam meant that we began to accelerate the wind rather than diminish... Continue Reading →

Squids in

With the wind dropping and moving round to the west, it was not the best situation for sailing but we had to stick with it as our aggregate diesel stocks were still marginal with nearly 900 miles to Horta. So we sailed and periodically when the faster AWOL threatened to overhaul us, we jogged the... Continue Reading →

Freedom of the blog

What a great day under sail, beam/broad reaching in F4/5 all day long with the sun out. Our days run of 151 miles was suppressed by the wind moderating through the night and we are now only doing 5 – 6 knots, what a calamity! The decision taken with Cliff on AWOL to track north... Continue Reading →

Blogs like buses

We have had numerous (well 6 actually) Emails concerning the lack of blogs over the weekend. Well, they have been done but the bottleneck has been my scheme to try to avoid the eye watering satellite bills I experienced on the crossing last year. Instead of posting the blogs from sea myself, I agreed a... Continue Reading →


Ollie writes:- I’m writing this at 2:17am. It should be the penultimate hour of my watch. But I’m actually only seventeen minutes into it. That’s because, I’m ashamed to say, I overslept…massively. I ran out of my cabin to find Barry, staring contemplatively into the starry horizon. “Barry I’m so sorry, I must’ve slept through... Continue Reading →

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