23 June 2022

Day 19 - Heart of calm

Today we headed into the Azores high, and though I expected to lose the wind by sunset, we still had enough wind to sail north east — the direction we wanted to go. What to do?

Since I knew we would have to motor through the high — probably a good 24 hours — I figured every mile we sailed would be a mile we didn't have to motor. This logic wasn't precise because the high isn't static. It's always moving and changing shape, but no one knows these details exactly (don't make the mistake of thinking your GRIB data is that accurate) so the best you can do is guess.

Anyway, I decided to not waste the wind and to sail on until the wind really died away.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful - just way sailing and calm seas. For some reason, I did have the feeling that we were in whale territory. Don't ask me why, it just felt like it. A pure logician would say there was nothing intuitive about it, that probably I could subconsciously hear whale noises through our hull, but however I got the idea, they did indeed appear during the afternoon !

There were six of them, according to the number of spouts we saw - two about a half mile to starboard, and four about the same distance to port. They were too far to see anything but the spouts, but the spouts themselves were very high and dense enough to look like smoke on the horizon. In fact, that's what Helena originally thought they were. And they had that classic mushroom shape you see in old wood carvings. Very exciting and very interesting.

Lunch was home-canned Guinness beef stew which I freshened up with some quartered onions and noodles, and we had red cabbage on the side. Yum. I love my own red cabbage, but even the jarred version tasted great with the stew.

Finally, we've been watching one of the wind vane control lines for chafe, and today the chafe seemed to have gotten markedly worse. I wrapped the affected part of the line tightly with electrical tape, and hope that provides enough chafe protection to get us to our destination.

So, not the most exciting day, but steady progress continues. That's the key to this game.

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