Sailing from Bermuda to Azores – Day 7 (July 8, 2017)

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean is like we are in a weather Buffet restaurant

During last six days, we have experienced a variety of weather patterns. It has been mostly a very rough trip as if I was in a washing machine drum. It ranged from 20-32 knots during the last 24 hours with waves anywhere from 2-7 feet. We have been sailing with a double reef in the main sail and with 70% of the genoa sail out, and we are still making 6-9 knots. It is better than a ‘No Wind’ situation!

The cats are doing fine. When it is too rough, they find the most stable spot and stay still. They don’t look timid anymore. When it calms down, one begs for a belly rub and the other wanders around. Every morning when I wake up, they are waiting for a spoon of tuna treat. During mid-day, they expect a ‘Cat Treat’.

Being Conservative on Fuel Usage

Two days ago, the wind died for a while. We motored for five hours. Then a light wind came. We sailed a little but didn’t gain much. Then the wind died again. We decided to float (no motoring no sailing). We went to backward a little and wasted the diesel we just used for motoring. When we left Bermuda, we started with two fuel tanks total of 100 gallons. In addition, we filled five 5-gallon containers. Even more. John wanted to carry as much as fuel as we can so we filled a couple of one gallon water bottles, a tea bottle, even an empty cat litter container, and etc. We started with maybe 135 gallons of Diesel. Every day, we run the generator with diesel, this uses about a half a gallon an hour, and we run it for two hours. It keeps our food cold and frozen and let us use electricity for everything including this computer, it heats the hot water for the shower and when it is cloudy it charges the batteries. With the strong wind we have had, we haven’t used much diesel for the main engine and want to keep it that way. When motoring with the main engine we use about 1 gallon of diesel per hour and can go about 6 miles.

Buddy Boat and Swimming

Before we left Bermuda, we met a buddy boat who were also heading to the Azores. We have been talking to each other every 12 hours via a Marine SSB radio, mostly weather updates. One day when it was calm, they told us that swimming in the ocean is their tradition crossing the ocean. We told them ‘Be careful but we don’t think we will.’ Later, I was tempted to swim so I did while we were floating with no wind. The water was cool. The color of the water was beyond my imagination, undesirably beautiful. While I was swimming, John was carrying a floating device on the boat as if he is a lifeguard. About 12 hours later, I found lots of red dots on my skin. I got ‘A Crumble of Sea Lice Attack’. ‘Cortizone-10 Cream’ seems to be working. It is not as bad as ‘No-See-Uhm Bites’ though. Earlier, we noticed there were small white things in the ocean. I should have been more careful. We have been seeing beautiful purplish jelly fish called ‘Portuguese Man-of-War’. Since I do not want to get stung by these jelly fish, I may not swim in the Azores, Portuguese Islands. What I was told is that ‘Sea Lice’ are the larvae of the Thimble Jellyfish. I wondered it could also be eggs of ‘Portuguese Man-of-War’. I will find out when I have Internet access, maybe in 10 days.

PS: We just crossed latitude 38N. The 38th Parallel is the line that first divided South and North Korea before the DMZ.

Kay Chung at N38.05/W50.30 on July 8, 2017 at 16:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)

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