June  2006

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May 28th 2006 - June 29, 2006


Atlantic Crossing

We arrived in Flores, Azores after 33 days at sea.    The crew fared well even if we (the kids and I) suffered the occasional seasickness.  The boat, we learned, had a few leaks that rain could not ever penetrate at the dock but a whopping wave at sea could!  Poor Oupa’s cabin was very soggy until he temporarily fixed it and got things dried out.  The initial part of the trip was filled with calms interspersed by night gales.  I never knew waves could make such a whomping sound on a boat.  The noises from the rigging were a bit nerve wracking as well.  Colomba is a very strong boat though and actually soars when the winds pick up.  We figure her hull speed to be around 9.5 knots!  Soon the trade winds kicked in and we had several days of great SW winds.  It wasn’t until we got 800nm from the Azores that the wind began to shift.  For the rest of the trip we had NNE winds and the tacking began.  We tacked North and we tacked South covering lots of miles each day but very little Easting.  It tested our patience.  Eventually we encountered what is known as the Azores High.  This term refers to the high pressure that sits around the Azores during the summer months.  High pressure means no wind, which means motoring.  We had fuel but didn’t want to push it as far as Horta, Fail – our initial destination.  Instead, we went to the nearest island, Flores and anchored in Lajes.  It was a worthwhile stop as the island was very beautiful and considered by most Azoreans to be the prettiest of them all. 

 My darling husband took the role of galley wench for the entire trip.  It was a really tough job.  It was hot and things would fly around a lot.  This shouldn’t happen but we thought when we left all was ready for sea.  However, I had no idea just how much motion there would be, especially during the squalls!  By the end of the trip we managed to get things to stay put a bit better.  I would do the dishes when things were a bit calmer but still sometimes that was hard.  I guess you never know what will actually stay put and what won’t until you go.  We were very happy with the performance of Colomba.  The highlights were obviously when the dolphins came or a sea turtle was spotted.  We saw a lot of pilot whales as we got closer to the Azores which was always fascinating.  We accomplished very little (okay none) schoolwork.  Since arriving in the Azores though we are back on track with schooling.  They have learned  a lot about volcanoes and Abi’s picked back up with Maths and Reading no problem as Aaron learns his ABCs and 123’s.  Not to mention the new language which they are shy to speak but occasionally will say thank you in Portuguese. 

Jan 06
May 06
June 06
July 06


a squall


pilot whale