Hope's and Howard's Sailing Adventures

Atlantic Cruising on board Mazu

Arrived in Horta

We are still pinching ourselves …. We made it over 1900 miles from Bermuda to Horta on Failal in the Azores!  It feels very good to have our feet back on dry land again …. and surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to be rocking. We met up with folks from the other ARC Europe boats at Peters Cafe, a sailors must in Horta that is celebrating 100 years this year.  Pete’s.. Read More

Day 14 – Approaching Horta

The anticipation onboard is rising…. Horta is now only 32 miles away … unfortunately almost directly into the rising Sun so we haven’t spotted land yet. We expect to make landfall this afternoon. A strange phenomenon is occurring with the AIS. Normally we only see other boats out to maybe 30 miles for large ships and around 4-5 miles for yachts as the signal is sent and received by VHF.. Read More

Day 12 – More Whales and Dolphins

As dawn is breaking on Day 13, I just had to jot down yesterday’s highlights. Not only was it a great sailing day but we also spotted whales breaching about a quarter of a mile away and there seemed to be dolphins all over the place, some that seemed to be on a mission, ahead of the whales, and others who were in a more playful mood, especially around our.. Read More

Days 11 and 12 – First Whale Spotted

I finally spotted my first whale! It wasn’t overly spectacular but so good to see the water spouts and the rounded beige-colored hump that was blowing the spout. No photos, sadly. Another boat reported having a whale breach not far in front of them earlier in the trip. Other wildlife seen has included dolphins fairly regularly, plenty of Portugese Man O’ War jellyfish with their pink-rimmed, crescent-shaped “sails” above the.. Read More

Days 9 and 10 – Picking up Some Speed

Having been somewhat frustrated that we have not been not making good headway towards our destination, we finally poled out the genoa yesterday morning and made much better progress , a passage record of 152 miles in 24 hours. The boat felt comfortable, even in building seas and with wind around 16-18 knots, our speed picked up to around 7 knots. The mood onboard was distinctly improved! Gradually the wind.. Read More

Day 8 – More Interesting Sailing

Another good day …. but with more varied wind conditions, still mostly from the WSW or SW. We put one reef in the mainsail overnight even though conditions didn’t seem to warrant it but just to be on the safe side. We also decided that we had gone farther south than we wanted to be so we gybed and sailed almost due north overnight. For me (Hope), the day began.. Read More

Day 7 – Time Change and Celebrations onboard

We passed the eastern edge of Atlantic Standard Time yesterday so decided to change our onboard clocks in between our double night shifts, curtailing by half an hour. We are now on GMT (a.k.a. UTC) -2, a sure sign we are making progress. Mike was treated to a spectacular triple rainbow during his 0800 – 1200 watch.. at the expense of getting just a tad damp. For us, it was.. Read More

Day 6 – Practicing Ancient Mariner Skills (with a modern twist)

Today was another glorious sunny day, making good progress with following winds. Life doesn’t get much better. So it was that we managed to turn our attention to obtaining weather faxes and trying my hand at a little celestial navigation. We had been poring through various publications to try and obtain weather faxes but had until today come up short. Finally as I dug a little deeper into information on.. Read More

Day 5 – Spinnaker Down!

Mike seems to have had most of the excitement during his morning watches over the past couple of days. Yesterday it was a show put on by dolphins… and today …. well, just read on. It took a bit longer for the wind to fill in than we expected. My (Hope’s) watch from 4:00 – 8:00 this morning was frustrating because the wind picked up ever so slowly. About half-way.. Read More

Day 4 and We Are Drifting ….

We finally resorted to seeking help from the engine about 10pm last night as our speed over ground had dropped to around 3.5 knots. We motored slowly overnight, heading in a northerly direction, but sadly it seems we are in a patch of very light airs that will likely persist throughout the day today. After about 13 hours of the noise, we tired of the noise and resorted to drifting.. Read More