Ponta Delgada (Sao Miguel), Azores, 11/7-2011
Distance made: 2359 nautical miles
Once again we got lots of experiences during our sailing from Ireland to the Azorean islands. The weather conditions were changing from cold gales and rain to warm trade winds and later on we even had some days without any wind at all. The nicest experiences during the trip was all the encounters with different pelagic species... Different whale- and dolphin species, basking shark, flying fish and turtles are some of the species we saw this time.
Wednesday, the 22nd of June, we are leaving from the west coast of Ireland. The wind is quite strong but in the right direction. This gives us a nice speed and a good start of our sailing. This year it has been a cold and stormy summer at the Irish west coast and we are all looking forward to let the wind help us to warmer latitudes.
The wind is getting even stronger and is increasing to gale force. It is very cold and everything is getting wet from the rain and the salty waves...
After two days of seasickness it is really nice when the weather is calming down and the sun starts to smile again. But now it is not only the weather that makes me happy.., it looks like the whole Atlantic is boiling! Wherever I look I see lots and lots of dolphins! Those beautiful creatures belong to the species Common dolphin, Delphinus delphis, and they are jumping, bow riding and playing everywhere... What a wonderful sight!
As further south we are coming the nights are getting longer and darker. Now also the temperature is changing and the air- and water is getting warmer.
It is amazing to see the dolphins swiming and playing in the phosphorescence during the nights. Dark nights filled of bright stars, far out at the Atlantic Ocean... Magic moments like this I wish I could stop the time...
There is something special with the Atlantic Ocean. I do not know if it is the salty water, the great sky or the never ending horizon, but for sure there is something out there giving you lots of new and sometimes even crazy ideas... ;)
When the sea is calming down it is really hard to understand that you are many days far out at the Atlantic Ocean. There is now wind, even not a small wave as far as you can see... Without wind there is no sailing speed but instead we have lots of time just enjoying the moment. Now it is also the best condition looking for more pelagic animals...
Whales in sight! During our voyage we get many nice encounters, specially from the fin whales. The fin whale is the secondt biggest creature living on earth, just the blue whale is getting one size larger. It is a really lovely sight to see those huge creatures pasing close by looking at you before they take a deep breath and suddenly disappear into the big blue ocean...
While being far out at sea, in a 14 meter long sailing boat, you feel how small you are. And when the weather conditions are good it is really nice to go out snorceling in the never ending blue water. The knowledge that there are many kilometers of blue water under you makes you feel like a tiny little spot in the deep blue ocean.
Land in sight! After almost two weeks out at sea it is a strange feeling to finally see land again. It is early morning the 5th of July, 12 days have past since we left the Irish west coast and now, 1437 nautical miles of sailing distance later, we have finally reached the Azorean islands.
Five years have past since our last visit at the green islands of the Azores and it is really lovely to be back again! Coming here feels like coming home! :)