Hope's and Howard's Sailing Adventures

Atlantic Cruising on board Mazu

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

Day 3 and Still Sailing Gently

I shouldn’t have written so confidently that we had passed Gloria of Southampton…. Shortly after I had sent the last blog, her captain, Tim, greeted us on VHF and informed us that his crew had been whipped into shape and they would be pulling out all the stops to regain the ground they had lost to us. So, the battle began…. and they gradually gained on us, indeed they came.. Read More

Great First Day out from Bermuda!

Although a little stressful to start, our first day back at sea turned out to be a real pleasure, one that seemed to make up for the trials of the passage to Bermuda. Unfortunately we missed the 11:00 am start with the rest of the Class A Cruiser boats because we were still waiting (not so patiently) for our turn to fill our fuel tanks. We did get a great.. Read More

Ready for Leg 2

After a couple of stressful days, last night at about 10:00 pm, the engine came back to life and I, for one, did the happy dance!  The cause for the engine not starting proved to be somewhat elusive. Benjy worked at it incessantly for the best part of two whole days, interspersed only by runs into Hamilton for parts and to test the starter motor and yet still the engine.. Read More