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Mazu - Day 14 - Approaching Horta

The anticipation onboard is rising.... Horta is now only 32 miles away ... unfortunately almost directly into the rising Sun so we haven’t spotted land yet. We expect to make landfall this afternoon. A strange phenomenon is occurring with the AIS. Normally we only see other boats out to maybe 30 miles for large ships and around 4-5 miles for yachts as the signal is sent and received by VHF so usually only shows vessels by line of sight and is dependent on the strength of the signal and how high the antenna is on the vessel. However, last night when we were over 100 n. miles from Horta, all of a sudden, we could see a plethora of vessels between us and Horta plus those in port and around the island. Can anybody explain, please? Our antenna is at the top of the mast, about 65 ft above sea level. I think the customs dock will be very busy by the time we get there!
We had another good day of sailing yesterday, still broad reaching on starboard tack (as we have been for the vast majority of this passage) and making good speed. However, the anticipated cold front finally caught up with us in the early hours this morning when Mike was on watch. He got rather wet! Fortunately we fared better than boats 80-100 miles behind us who reported winds going around the clock between 6 and 25 knots! Our wind dropped and veered from WSW to WNW, so our apparent wind was even less. Time to put the chugger on again .... but we are now on port tack, for a change. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the wind will increase and clock some more so we can do some more sailing and pick up a bit more speed .... time will tell.
Fishing lines are out as usual ..... send the fish our way, please as it could also be worth a bottle of bubbly to us, thanks to a generous offer from Principal Interest.

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