Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - Sizzling sausages... look at the AIS!
After days and days of nothing on the AIS, other than the odd cargo ship or the very odd sailing vessel, we suddenly have loads and loads of AIS targets on our screen - literally dozens of them: Class A and Class B. It seems as if the Azores Islands have scattered a whole box full of them on our screen. Well, it shows that Horta and the ARC Fleet aren't too far away. We'll be arriving, all going well, later this afternoon, having taken the 'long-cut' to get there. A little more wind and a little less "southerly" would be appreciated, but the wind has never taken any hints from me so far, so why now?--. read more...
Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - Our last full day at sea
A reddish dawn announced the beginning of what looks like being the last full day that we'll be at sea. Tomorrow (afternoon?) should see us arriving in Horta, barring any accidents or encounters of the 3rd kind with tree trunks, oil drums, dormant whales or other such obstacles, that despite the full moon wonderfully lighting up the sea you still couldn't detect until it is too late. Our only object of interest spotted during this whole trip so far was an orange boot floating in the water - fortunately no body or severed foot or leg in the boot, so Laura ensured me. You can see who's reading the crime novels at sea...We're reunited with our Dutch friends, who wandered off a bit more north yesterday (and we south). They could see us on the AIS, but we didn't see them anymore - but held. read more...
Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - Slowly approaching Horta!
Weather systems are there to test the yachtsman's patience, endurance and skill in reaching a destination without said yachtsman jumping off his vessel in frustration beforehand. Whereas yesterday started with excellent sailing weather to reach Horta, we subsequently encountered a sharp squall in the afternoon which must have scared away the decent wind that we were enjoying. At first our wind stuck its tail between its hind legs and scarpered off northwards; there it must have cut itself into three, because when it came back it was less than a third in strength and had turned into a pure westerly. So, nothing that would make our rather heavy craft move forwards at any rate of knots. Together with our accompanying Dutch friends (see my previous post), we decided on a new course (of. read more...
Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - Them Dutchies
We've made ourselves new friends with a Dutch yacht called Agapé - they also happen to be a member of the same sailing club - De Toerzeilers - that we joined last year, prior to leaving for a a long cruise. We've been in each other's company (and that of Fanky, but who have since moved on) for a couple of days now. Given the expected weather for the next couple of days, we feel that our best option is to stay at approximately 36 degrees North, and pass under the wind that on Tuesday/Wednesday looks like turning against our progression to Horta. We may need to motor a little bit through what looks like a no-mans-land in between two rivaling air-masses. And then zip up into Horta on Thursday.Last night there were a couple of lightning flashes south of us; but nothing came of them, and the. read more...
Ngahue IV - "Young man, your clock is up the creek"
(An imaginary discussion with a grumpy old passenger this morning)"Now see here young man, that clock of yours is completely balmy", he exploded as the night sky slowly turned light grey."No, no", I answered; "It's keeping perfect time; it hasn't run a second faster or slower since Tortola! Good German quality, our ship's clock...""Don't you give me any of that nonsense; you can see perfectly well that something's amiss! When did you ever see dawn at half past three in the morning? Don't tell me the sun is rushing ahead on its schedule...; ...wants to finish its day early and knock off for a quick one at the pub? Typical of the younger generation... harumph, harumph", retorted and grumbled my imaginary elderly guest. "Not like in the good old days! You could count on the sun then."At. read more...