Hope's and Howard's Sailing Adventures

Atlantic Cruising on board Mazu

Inching our way to the finish line

We have just passed the ‘100 miles to go’ barrier, and we are tantalisingly close to being able to cross the finish line before mid-day tomorrow. The wind needs to keep blowing, and if it changed direction another wee squeak from the north, we would pick up that little bit of extra speed we need to make it. So it’s race trimming and feathering to windward on board today, with.. Read More

Tortola in our sights!

All the hard slog to get to longitude 65W yesterday has paid off at last, and we are finally able to point the boat at Tortola, instead of the Dominican Republic! The forecast came good, and the winds are from the east. Sadly, there isn’t much of it, so we have decided to sail when the wind is above 6 knots, and motor when it is not, until we get.. Read More

Further rationing introduced…

For those following our excursion on yellow brick, you will know already that it’s become a bit of a struggle to make any headway towards Tortola. We seemed to have a hiccup with the last blog, and don’t know if it was posted. Suffice to say, the plan to head east to find more favorable trade winds and avoid being swept west is only marginally effective, as we have less.. Read More

Highs and Lows

Tuesday morning and the last two days have seen the crew of Second Wind in Meteorology Class, reading grib forecasts of high and low pressure systems and wind predictions across the Atlantic, and using junior Geometry to make tactical decisions about our course and direction to minimise the effect of a persistent headwind from the Southwest. Second Wind is a dream to sail off wind, but the trade off is.. Read More

Blow the Wind Southerly, no thank you!

Sunday afternoon. The baked Mahi Mahi last night was utterly delicious, eaten on deck with the sun going down. Unfortunately, the wind has swung round to come from the direction of Tortola, so since we can’t point the boat at the wind, port tack won over starboard, and we headed off at an angle west of our desired route. By morning, we were 60 miles south west and reckoned that.. Read More

Life on Port Tack

Today is a beautiful sunny day for a sail, with the wind ahead and blowing us along at 6kts, almost in the direction we have planned. After two days in confused choppy swell, learning to live on starboard tack angles, we’ve returned to port tack, and it seems the best weather is always on Port. Not only that, but the dishes stay on the counter all by themselves. Cooking is.. Read More

Settling into life on the high seas

From the calms of our previous blog when we tried out our fishing gear and Karen practiced her newly taught skills of taking a sextant reading and calculating our position (to within 40 miles …. not bad!), the clouds then rolled in and the wind filled in from about ESE at about 10-12 knots, which led to more pounding into the waves and less comfort, especially for those trying to.. Read More

Calms after the Gulf Stream and a morning treat

I guess this is a day for recuperation as the wind is now light out of the West. Seas have flattened out and are much more regular, temperatures are rising, sun is shining so it’s time to shed the thermals and don shorts instead! This morning began with a real treat of a pod of dolphins (at least 9) swimming in our bow wave. They were a delight to watch.. Read More

First night at Sea

It’s Tuesday afternoon, and we are all up after sleeping off our overnight watches. We had as many layers of thermal clothing that we could fit under our jackets, wooly hats and gloves, and it was chilly. We entered the Gulf Stream around 5am, with the wind blowing 20-25 kts, nicely on a beam-broad reach, and immediately noticed a warm breeze. The water temperature rose to over 80F, and the.. Read More

Goodbye land

We’ll be slipping our lines at 09:30 to head out of Ocean Marina in Portsmouth towards the start line in the James River. There are 41 boats taking part, and although this is more of a rally cruise than a race, with four lifelong yacht racers on board, of course we are competing! The boats range in size and stature, from an ex Americas cup boat, Falcon, through a racing.. Read More