The illusion of closeness.

Distances and time are relative depending on where and when you are, 500 nautical miles might be more than you sail during a whole season or it might be the distance between you and the next shower. When our distance towards the Azores dropped under 1000 nautical miles we were close in our mind, not on paper. Damn, three digits, that’s almost home right? Yeah, but it’s still a bigger distance than our early legs on this trip. Right now the days goes fast but the hours have slowed down to a crawl. You stand watch for three hours (feels like 6 in the middle of the night) and go to sleep and stand watch and oops, a whole week has gone.
It’s our chores, cooking and washing up, that actually informs us that a couple of days has passed.
We still have a couple of more days to spend here bobbin towards Faial and that shower but it’s still closer to that shower than I’ve been in a long time. Last time I took a proper shower was down in Trinidad! No, we don’t smell (that much) I’ve been using our boat-shower and swum in the ocean but last real shower were at Coral Cove marina.
We did about three days of motoring before the wind started blowing again and now we have about 3-4 days more we can use but we won’t make it all the way if we don’t get some proper wind.

Another sailing yacht called up a freighter and asked if they could buy some fuel but they didn’t have a diesel of that kind on board. Maybe that is an idea for financing your trip. Stock up on fuel, drift around a couple of hundred nautical miles west of Horta if there’s no wind, and sell fuel at crazy prices. “Feel like buying some diesel? That’ll be your soul and first born, or you can spend 25 years drifting around out here.”
Now ask yourself, when was the last time you were 500 nautical miles from a shower? The water is getting colder, haven’t had below 24 Celsius in a long time.

N 36 18
W 39 49

Green Flash!

Some people wait in vain to catch the green flash at sunset and get irritated when they don’t succeed, now I’ll tell you how you can do it the other way around…

First, get a GPS that will tell you the sunset and sunrise on the position you are, go out 750 nautical miles west of the Azores, make sure there are no wind and almost no waves. Get up about an hour before dawn and have a cup of tea. Now comes the hard part, look at how tasteless the real world can be with more pink, purple and blue than an 80’s cartoon aimed at small girls. Now consult your GPS and make sure to know when the sun will rise (where is not hard to miss, it’s where the colours are really tasteless) and just wait. Now if you’re lucky you’ll start with the flash and thus your eyes won’t have the blotches that you usually got while staring into the setting sun. Now some will say that this is bullshit and that the green flash don’t exist, well it does, kind of.

It’s not the second morning with no wind and we’re steaming ahead doing steady 3 knots hoping for some kind of wind. We still have quite a lot of diesel left but not enough to get us all the way to Horta but we’ll see how far we get before having to start and row Trusty.
One good thing about this weather is that we can have our hatches open and ventilate Trusty so it’s a little bit less of an oven down below. The days go by fast but the hours slowly so we try to keep busy reading and listening to music. If there is a submarine down below, they’ll be bored of our playlist soon as we’ve been playing for the whole ocean to hear. If they surface to yell at us, I’ll ask them for some diesel and fresh meat.

What more then? Yesterday it rained for a couple of hours and I’m thankful for our hardtop now. With the radar on and looking out into the mist my rain exposure was minimal.

Let’s hope they still have warm showers in the marina in Horta!

N 35 13
W 043 41

Under 1000!

Less than a thousand! Hmm what to say about the last couple of days? Sometimes it’s good to have a thick skull, jellyfishes are growing bigger and big sky theory is bad on water…

Start with skulls, during one of my nightwatches I lost my balance and fell. Luckily my head hit the side of the entrance to the cabin and gave me a second to grab something before falling all the way down to the floor. Got a small cut on my forehead but balsa-fiberglass sandwich against wood and sawdust seems to cancel out and I’ve seen no other problems than a sore forehead. Wouldn’t have been fun falling all the way down and landed on my face to think of it.

Usually people talk about big sky theory as a way to promote safety in the air and in space, shortly explained they say that there are so much space so it’s unlikely to fly into someone else because of that. Well, the Atlantic might be quite big too but let me introduce you the magic of GPS navigation and the big circle. What ships do is that they motor out from the European coast and then plot a big-circle towards their destination across the pond. What you end up with is a lot of boats going back and forth on the same place. If you plot a big circle from where we turned eastwards on our trip to the Azores you kind of end up with the same circle, so now we have at least a freighter every day passing just a couple of miles away. Yesterday we had to change our course because there was two big container ships meeting and we ended up between them. But that’s good, a nice training to get us shipshape before the English Channel.

Jellyfish then? The sailing ones are bigger now and they shimmer in the sunlight. We have a full moon as well and last night you got the same effect as they did in old movies when they shot night scenes midday with a blue filter. But hey less than a thousand nautical miles left to Horta!
Peters Sport here we come, shower here we come, Portuguese customs officers here we come (no sir we don’t have the boat full of rhum, sir) and a stunning view of Pico here we come. I wonder if there’ll be snow on Pico…

Well other than that we’re all good and still have high spirits! Our bow points towards Horta and we have water and diesel to take us there.

N 33 35
W 47 50


No not Manowar man of war, a Portuguese one, no long hair and guitars on overdrive. We’re talking a sailing jellyfish. For the last couple of hours we’ve been sailing amongst them as we stomp our way north east.

When I woke up this morning I was as happy as one can be out on the Atlantic, my bed was dry and I was snuggled into a blanket and it felt warm and cosy. Honestly, I’m finding it hard to remember when that happened during the last couple of months. We’re heading for the cold. As long as it doesn’t get to cold it’s going to be ok, much easier getting dressed for cold than for warmth. When you’re almost naked and can’t find any shade, how do you dress for that? Well now at night I get to put on my pants and a nice warm shirt, aah lovely.

A small school of small whales visited us today and swam next to us for a bit, got a bit of video of that. Going to upload that when we’re able to get a good internet connection.

Catch you later when we get closer. Now it’s below 1400 NM left to Horta!

N 30 08.89
W 054 18.10

Change of mind

Started writing something funny about me and shade and my wishes about colder weather. Ranting about sun and stuff but then during my afternoon watch yesterday a shoe and a toilet–seat floated past and the funny feeling was kind of lost.

Well let’s hope that it was remnants from one of the boats that they rescued during the big storm a couple of weeks ago. But it still makes you think a bit.

We’re fine and the wind has picked up and now we’re sailing with three reefs in our main and our jib only and are doing 5 knots stomping trough the waves. Will be back in a day or two with a new update.

N 27 57 W 055 23

One Week!

Captain’s log, earth date 201505281254LT, as we were chasing the favourable winds heading towards our destination we actually catch a strange wind enabling us to head straight for the Azores.

We have ok winds, not saying anything else, don’t want to jinx any more. Have anyone seen Das Boot? There is a scene where they are trying to go through the strait of Gibraltar, cannons, flares and craziness all over the place. Just like that it felt last night as we were passing between a couple of thunderstorms while being hit by a rainy squall. Started humming the lead-tune from the film as I hunkered down behind our doghouse.

Other than that it’s been slow, doing only 2 knots with no wind and too much waves knocking the wind out of our sails. Did a bit of maintenance on the reef-line for our genoa yesterday and humming old shanties as we sat there like some old scruffy salty dogs. No rhum ration for this crew today but we’ve put some sodas in the fridge for later.

So far the ocean is giving me a better treatment than it did last time I was out close in these waters, not going to write about that today but I might do a comparison between this and 12 years ago when we get to the Azores and can send longer updates.
Anyways, times up and I have to send this out before it’s my turn to go up and look at the horizon.

N 25 13.36
W 058 00.03

Jinxing it?!

Could one jinx the crossing while talking about too little wind? As of writing this it’s day two of motoring eastwards and it’s soon diesel checking time. After measuring, we can calculate how many more hours of fuel we’ve got left.
Our spirits are good and we are noticing that it’s not as warm as it was a couple of days ago so finally one don’t flow away just sitting here writing a blogpost.
It’s going to be nice actually getting to the Azores now but we have at least 1800 miles left. Would some nice northwesterly or southwesterly winds be enough to ask for, they don’t have to be strong, just enough to give us a 4-6 knot average speed.
If this continues we’re going to have to paddle the last 1000 nautical miles and that will be a bummer.

When the sun goes down the light shows starts out here in the middle of nowhere, we have the sea lighting up from bioluminescence, the sky lighting up from flashes of thunder on the horizon. Yesterday we got some rain and Trusty had a shower to rinse of some of the salt, I was hand-steering right then and stopped doing that and put our autopilot back on.

Btw, I got pictures to prove the weather situation, it can be calm on the big seas, where were this weather when we were stomping up and down in the Caribbean? Update in a day or two.

N 24 10.86
W 060 17.02

More than you! Again..

Every day I sweat, come out to sweat, wetter sweating more than you!
All of a sudden we think of one of the lines from Like a boss (look back in February and you’ll understand) out here on the big blue sea!
We’re having a great sail north but there is one problem, the sun… Sure you think that a bit of sun would just be great but when you’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean there are not that much shade. Sure we’ve done what we can to give us some shade but as the sun pass from horizon to horizon even the shadiest place of the cockpit get a fair share of rays. Inside Trusty it’s not much better, the ventilation is not that good and the hatches we can open get spayed every now and then thus making it a bad idea.

It’s now day four on our crossing and we still feel ok with it, the gps tells us there are less than 2000 NM on the big circle to Horta, to bad we’re not following that circle so we probably got about 2200 left before seeing Faial.
Most of our sailing so far has been with one reef in our main and our jib fully out. The Genoa is a bit too much sail for comfort and something in-between would have been a good solution but this works great.

Yesterday evening we had some bad news but we continue on heading northish.

Tomorrow is towel day and then we all have to bring our towels to remember an author who didn’t like to write, Douglas Adams. I myself are going to spend this crossing with a good phrase in my mind.

Don’t panic!
Well that’s all for now, we’ll be back in a couple of days.

N 22 50.70
W 062 02.33

We’re on our way!

There, we’ve lifted our anchor and stocked up and now we’re leaving for the open water. We’ll do the same as we did on our way here, report to you about how it is and where we are. You just have to wish us fair winds and following seas!

Here we go!

Not to the temple of consumption but out on the ocean, for the second time this trip we’re going place ourselves in the mercy of Poseidon and his entourage for a couple of weeks. We’re as ready as we’ll ever be I guess, shopping for corned-beef is done, shopping contraband rhum for the trip home is done, water and diesel is not done but that’s the last thing we’ll do.

Leaving this side of the pond comes with quite mixed feelings; it’s going to be fantastic getting back to Scandinavia but we’re going to miss these islands like crazy. I think it’s a mix of the cruising community and the weather that make me want to come back again. Sure there is a kind of sailing community back in Sweden but I’ve never really felt at home there, for me sailing is a way of taking me places a way that let me travel at a pace my brain and body can cope with. I’m not the kind of person that go sailing for the experience of the sail, you’re not finding me tacking my way towards a goal up wind just because I’m on a sailboat. You see all that you pass when you travel this way (except for when you’re sleeping or the fog is to thick), every nautical mile we’ve travelled is a nautical mile we’ve seen and focused on. When you go by plane you’re up in the air for a couple of hours and then you’re in a different country, now we actually have seen the trip here. I’m not going to say that one way or other is a better way to travel and I’m really not going to say anything about the people who go by plane. Some of our fellow cruisers look down a bit upon the people chartering a boat here in the Caribbean, island hopping for two weeks and paying about the same amount as we do in three months just to be here. Sure we feel a bit smug when they look with big eyes when entering a bay and they are lured in to picking up an overpriced mooring that probably is as safe as our dingy anchor but that’s just because we’ve gone cynic. Cynic and sure one can feel a little bit good about yourself when you’ve crossed an ocean to get here but sometimes I’d like to change place with them. They’re heading home soon on a plane, the boat they sailed are going to be taken care of and they don’t have to worry about Atlantic weather patterns. Step on, get drunk, get tanned (or at least red), snorkel a bit, eat some local food, step of, take a shower and done. That’s all folks…

We on the other hand have to cross the pond again and getting to the Azores, we’re only halfway there. Halfway back to reality…

Yeah, back to travelling by boat, the best thing is that you have your home with you, all your stuff, and your own bed. You don’t have to pack and unpack all the time, your hotel room moves with you and at the end of the day you sure feel good about doing this trip. But why do we do it?
For me it’s not about the spiritual trip that some people talk about, I wanted to go back to the Caribbean and I wanted to be able to stay there for a while, thus sailing there because if I’d gone there by plane and hotel my budget would have been gone long time ago. Sure, some people claim finding their life meaning, getting spiritual, wiser or whatever floats your boat (no pun intended) the only thing I’ll take with me from this is that I can do it. No more, no less, I can cross an ocean under the circumstances that I did cross it.

I was going to write about the small patch of sand that is the most photographed patch of sand in the Caribbean but when I got there and saw that the beach was almost gone and all the touristy things there that thought went away. See if you can find some photos of the place today compared to a couple of years ago. Didn’t find Bourdains curve nor the shawarhma truck either, but that don’t get me down, I wouldn’t be a true pessimist if things were accomplished.

Now we’re getting the last things in place before we raise our anchor and sail out into the great unknown again.

Here we go, here we go, here we go!

TL:DR? Just go listen to “Stakka Bo – Here we go again” and just switch the consumption with ocean and you’re fine, you lazy…..