The Calm Before the Storm I

Day 2 & 3, 19 & 20 August

I was roused from my slumber when I noticed a white light dead ahead, its 06:00.  Turns out it was Jupiter right on top of Venus.  What can I say, boys will be boys.  Clearly, I’ve learned to sleep like a cat with one eye open, In the last year, I have been woken numerous times when I see a light in front of me.  It’s probably happened more than a dozen times and it’s never been an earth bound object, but always the moon, sun, Venus and now, Jupiter’s been added to the list.

Second Night Out of Horta

Second Night Out of Horta

Seas were 2 to 3 feet from the west, winds are from the NW at 8 to 13, and we’re going NE, no whitecaps and gentle rolling ±08 °

I did not see a single boat/ship.  First time ever not to have seen anything, even on radar or AIS.

Since leaving Horta, I had run the fuel polisher about an hour just to check the fuel. Now, since the engine feed would feed from whatever tank I was polishing, I did not want to polish for a long time. I just wanted to make sure the engine ran on that fuel.  In doing so, I did notice some gunk in the bottom of the fuel polisher.  It was enough for me to decide not to use that tank as source for time being, but it wasn’t so much that I was concerned. Frankly, I just felt the Racors were doing their job so don’t fuss over it.

Again, woken from my slumber with another light dead ahead, this time the rising crescent moon at 02:20.

I’ve had my most substantial meal of the trip so far. Hormel canned chili (no beans), a can and a half of corn, a can of red kidney beans, a small Horta onion, 3 slices of American cheese, Sam Jang (Korean bean and garlic paste), Red pepper paste, garlic powder, black pepper and salt. The first day underway from Horta, I hardly ate at all, yesterday; I ate a tomato salad and some candy bars.  This morning, I had a tomato and onion salad (oil and vinegar).  And then my chili concoction midafternoon. I have three more portions in the freezer. I’ll end up eating them all in the next 5 days.

Winds continue to be light, less than 15 knots, so I pull the birds out of the water in late afternoon.

From my viewpoint, my course looks good.  A direct course to Ireland from Horta would have been to the NE, 045°. Instead, to take advantage on the movement of the Azores high, as well as the development of a little low west of the tip of Spain, I have taken a course of 066°.  There have been cumulus buildups on the horizon in all directions since morning, but around me, just scattered high clouds and for the first time, light winds, 5 to 8 knots from the west. (Spoiler alert, in 7 days this developing low would beat me like a rented mule)

We are droning along at 6 knots.  The Ford Lehman engine never misses a beat, which means many times one can hardly hear it as it is so steady, our brains ignore it.  When I sleep, nap at night, it feels just like being on a trans-Atlantic flight flying to Europe in the middle of the night, with the occasional moderate turbulence and the drone of the engines.

Also, these first few since leaving Horta have been thankfully uneventful.  Earlier in our passage, leaving Rhode Island, Cape Cod and finally Nova Scotia, each day there were things to deal with every day. Finally after  the 4th day out of NS, all systems were working and we settled into a routine.

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