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Madeira towards Azores

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 6:22 pm
by Silkie
Fairwinds' Position Report 18.00 ships time, 17.00 UTC 29th May 2007

33deg 02.4'N
017deg 40.6'W

Distance from Calheta 33nm
Distance to Santa Maria (approx) 435nm

Distance to first WP at 34deg 19'.0N 020deg 0'.0W : 139NM

We left Calheta at 11.00 in bright sunshine and sailed slowly and serenely down towards the SW corner of Madeira, where the wind suddenly got up to 25 knots from the NE as it found its way round the corner of the island - it seems M\adeira has a WAZ as well. Rapid reefing followed, and we continued on our course of 305degT at six knots with lots of crashing and banging.

After a couple of hours the wind moderated, and by four o'clock we were back to all plain sail We are expecting the wind to go round to head us over the next 24 hours, so we are trying to keep up to windward a little at the moment.

Have put an intermediate WP in to break up the journey a little and as a nod to great circle sailing. It is just over a third of the way there. If we sail that far and lose the wind completely we can motor into the predicted S. Westerlies nearer the Azores. The plan is to arrive Sunday if possible, but we have never sailed a plan yet. . . .

Crew well and in good spirits, weather light cloud, wind 8-11 knots NNE, track 305 for now. Will attempt to send a noon report tomorrow.

Fairwinds out.


Re: Position Reports

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:25 pm
by ash
Cheers Silkie

Keep up the good work with the Noon positions.


Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 3:41 pm
by Timbo
Fairwinds' Position Report 12.00 ships time, 11.00 UTC Weds 30th May 2007

33deg 34'.8N

019deg 08'.3W

Distance run from Calheta 118nm

Distance to Santa Maria (approx) 360nm

Sailed comfortably all night at an average of four knots in a light NNE
breeze with all plain sail. Unable to lay our course - by nine in the
morning we were about fifteen miles South of the direct track -
insignificant on a passage of this length, where you have to adjust your
plan from hour to hour and day to day to cope with the vagaries of the wind.
However, we are now an average of 35 degrees of our course so will probably burn some more diesel later today.

Saw no traffic all night. Ran under LED anchor light with the 25W filament
tricolour on standby . . .

Put the engine on at ten o'clock to charge up the batteries and fired up the laptop and Iridium to see if I could download mail, as I had difficulty
yesterday. Managed to download yesterday's email from Globalmarinenet' GRIB robot - have ordered one every day for a week.

The other good news is that the expensive new Targus power supply for the laptop that we bought in Funchal is working perfectly - although it too
appears to interfere with the VHF (it is quite close to it).

Will put the ships clocks back an hour at some point in the couple of days
as AZOST is an hour behind Madeira and the mainland.


Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 5:37 pm
by Silkie
Fairwinds' Position Report 12.00 ships time, 11.00 UTC Thurs 30th May 2007

34deg 25'.6N
020deg 32'.0W

Noon-Noon: 89nm

Distance run from Calheta 207nm
Distance to Santa Maria 271nm

After an hour and a half before lunch to charge the batteries the engine went back on at 14.30 yesterday as the wind went light and backed to head us. We tried to sail again for an hour in the afternoon, but with the swell plus the light chop right on the bow and light winds, 60 degrees off the wind is about the best the Navik can manage, and even in an hour of hand steering with our best windward helmsman (Kathy) on the tiller we had only made a mile towards our destination.

The headwind strengthened in the early evening and we had difficulty keeping the main drawing without going well off track. Eventually we decided it was causing more drag than anything else and took it down, then motored under bare poles all night into 10-12 knots of wind and a short chop riding on the back of a swell of maybe a metre and a half. It wasn't the most comfortable night, but there was very little slamming and we both managed to get some sleep when we were off watch. Brilliant moon (full tomorrow) most of the night, with scattered cloud.

The only excitement of the night came at 02.15 during Kathy's watch when a large ship passed quite close across our bows. Kathy called me on deck as she thought she could see a red and a green light, so I sprang out of my sleeping bag and on deck in my underpants. We slowed Fairwinds down and turned to starboard while I peered through the bins. Initially I thought it must be two ships as it was so long, but quickly identified it as a very large container ship passing us about a mile in front of our bow. Excitement over I retreated to my bunk to enjoy the last half hour of my off-watch snooze.

Nine o'clock this morning saw a total grey overcast, the wind still heading us with no possibility of even motor sailing for the moment and more diesel consumed than I had hoped. Consulted yesterday's GRIB, which suggested that in another 50 or so miles the prevailing wind - although very light - may have begun to turn S. Westerly. Hope so, as we will be getting short of diesel in another 100 miles or so if we don't get any wind and may have to float about aimlessly for a while.

We topped up the diesel with 20 litres from cans at ten thirty this morning, just before entering a largish rain shower, then reduced revs to 2000rpm for economy. As well as wind, waves and swell against us we also appear to have up to a knot of current and so are not making much more than three and a half knots over the ground. Overall though we are on plan for a Sunday arrival so long as we get some even slightly favourable wind within 24 hours. We will see what the latest GRIB shows when we download it this afternoon.

Fairwinds out.


Re: Fairwinds

Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 6:24 pm
by ash
Silkie wrote: Hope so, as we will be getting short of diesel in another 100 miles or so if we don't get any wind and may have to float about aimlessly for a while.

They'll be hoping to come across Hercules again - she was full of diesel.

Thanks again Tim and Silkie for the position updates.


Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 7:43 pm
by Timbo
'Ere, wot's going on? I don't recall adding a very cunning graphic to my post giving a splendid pictorial rendering of the bald textual information supplied by Fairwinds. Somebody been editing my posts?

Nice job, ta, Silkie.

Your late with the latest fix

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 3:29 pm
by stevebirch2002
Cmon Silkie, waiting with bated breathe here, latest fix?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:01 pm
by Timbo
Fairwinds' Position Report 12.00 ships time, 12.00 UTC Fri 1st June

NOTE - Ships' clocks changed one hour back to Azores Summer Time - same as

35deg 22'.8N

022deg 11'.9W

Noon-Noon (25 hours): 102nm

Distance run from Calheta 309nm

Distance to Santa Maria 171nm

22 hours motoring out of the previous 25 hours. We made less than five miles in the other three hours. We have poured the last of our fuel into the tank this morning and can probably motor another 100 miles or so. However, the S. Westerlies we were expecting are starting to fill in and for the last hour we have been sailing close hauled in 6-9 knots apparent at about 2.5 knots, with the Navik managing to keep us just 10-15 degrees North of our course.
We'll take that, as our diesel reserves are finite and it is wonderful to
have peace after so much motoring.

We put the clocks back an hour to AZOST at 11.00, giving the 1st mate an extra hour off watch.

Otherwise little to report - we have seen two terns and a couple of bits of
rubbish. Oh yes, and a fish finally took one of the lures Melvyn gave us in
Las Palmas. Took it rather promptly - the line it was on was not quite up to the job, and it didn't even stretch or jerk the rod. Just an apologetic
'ping' and it was gone, leaving some largish fish with a sore mouth. We will try the other one on a stronger line this afternoon.

Fairwinds out.

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:05 am
by stevebirch2002
Think Ive sussed the mapping stuff....


Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:01 pm
by Timbo
Fairwinds' Position Report 12.00 ships time, 12.00 UTC Sat 2nd June 2007

36deg 05'.0N

023deg 33'.5W

Noon-Noon: 85nm

Distance run from Calheta 389nm

Distance to Santa Maria 93nm

Passed a tanker in ballast mid aftermoon and shortly afterwards saw a whale or whales spouting in the distance. Sailed until 21.00 then the wind went light and aft of the beam with a nasty little side sea that caused rapid, jerky rolling. Dropped the main and motor-sailed with the genny for three hours - trying to eke out the diesel in case we don't get any more wind.
When Kathy came on watch at midnight the wind had picked up, and the next three hours were sailed under genoa. At 03.00 though we put the main back up and have been making reasonable progress on a fetch/fine reach ever since.
We appear to have up to a knot of current against us and the sea is a bit
bouncy, so it is not the most comfortable ride - but we are within 100 miles and have diesel to spare, so we should hopefully make landfall sometime tomorrow.

Fairwinds out.

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:21 pm
by stevebirch2002
Latest Chart


Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:16 pm
by Timbo
Fairwinds arrived Santa Maria today (Sunday) at 1100 local time in mist and drizzle. More later when Nick finds access to t'internet.

Latest Chart

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:33 pm
by stevebirch2002
Guessing where on the island!


Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:19 pm
by Mum
:D Delighted to hear Nick & Kathy have made it along with Fairwinds - looking forward to hearing all about Santa Maria

Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:42 pm
by Timbo
Fairwinds Report from Vila do Porto, Santa Maria, Azores Sun 4rd June 2007

We arrived here at ten o'clock this morning and eventually got anchored by eleven. We dinghied ashore with our documents and presented ourselves to the Policia Maritima, the customs and another lady who we were told later was the head of customs. We still have to go to another building up in the town and pay a one euro light tax.

Went for a walk up town in the afternoon. When we got back to the boat we were told we would have to move as we were in the way of a ferry that would be turning round. We dropped back to the full extent of our scope, disconnected the buoy from our tripping line and took a long tripping line back to the boat - only to discover it floated, so a cunning device was rigged to sink it. I then had to take a line ashore from the stern to stop us swinging into the wall. It was of course two feet too short, so more knitting was required to bridge the gap.

We were now almost alongside the wall and blocking the pilot boat's berth, so once the ferry had been dragged arse first out of the harbour (not coming within 200m of us btw) by an ancient tug and the pilot boat (its poor abused engine belching black smoke) we untied the stern line and pulled ourselves back into position. Our neighbour Robert though had also had to move and now decided to stay where he was with 40+ metres of scope out and a stern anchor deployed to stop him swinging. This meant we ended up having to put out a stern anchor as well in case we swung into him, which took two attempts and also involved removing the navik (windvane) paddle in case the stern line fouled it . . . and of course we had to remove the new extended tripping line and replace it with the old one and buoy.

And so the merry hours passed . . . ah, the joys of anchoring once more.

Don't know how long we will be here - we would like to stay for two or three days, but the possible onset of a protracted period of northerlies in a couple of days could see us leaving as early as Tuesday for Ponta Delgada.

Our machineries can detect NO wireless networks here - a first - and of
course there is no electricity - so do not be surprised if we there is a
period of radio silence for a few days.

Fairwinds out . . .

(Come on, Steve, let's see a Google Earth picture of the incident then. Show us your mettle). :D