I can smell the land!
Today has been a full-on, fun day on the water! The wind gradually built all day and
we had 35 knots by the afternoon. The waves have become very difficult as Roxy and I
have been passing over various banks and shelves around the Azores islands.
By the end of the afternoon, we were being attacked by giant breaking waves coming
from different directions, coupled with wind reaching 40 knots. This resulted in a
few wipeouts, caused by the breakers, plus several 'fill-ups' of the cockpit. The
waves also managed to open a spinlock clutch, and very nearly tore away my lifebuoy!
The front is now passing over us, with frequent 45 knot squalls, so for a while we
sailed under a 3 reefed main alone! I have gybed and Roxy is sneaking past just a
few miles to the South of Terceira. I can see the lights of the towns on the island,
and I can smell the land. It is the first time I have seen civilization since
leaving Les Sables d'Olonne three months ago! I have to keep going back on deck to
have another look, but then I see the huge scary waves in the moonlight and decide
I'm better off inside!
Hopefully the sea state and wind will calm down soon so that I can put a bit more
sail up and speed up a bit. For now though, it is very much "sail safe" mode onboard