From Nahant to Flores (Azores) in 2015

This was a great trip and our first Trans-Atlantic.
We left Nahant June 19th at 5pm into a low easterly breeze. After drifting through the late evening we started the engine at midnight and continued SE.

Throughout the trip we encountered three storms with sustained winds in the 30-40kn range (Emily, Linda and Candace ;-). After each one we drifted in significant swells for a while; followed by great broad reaching for days at a time. Via our weather routing software, we were able to avoid easterly winds and sailed a lot (too much) with wind from the W, which in lower winds was harder than expected as we struggled to stabilize the sails in the relatively large waves.

We saw about 20 freighters, zero sailboats, a handful of whales & turtles, a lot of dolphins & seabirds and luckily enough hardly any trash.

In total, we sailed 1858nm, ran the engine for 39hrs and consumed about 30gal diesel and 28gal of fresh water in canisters, plus more of boiled drinks from the built-in tanks (we do not have a water maker). Pasta, rice etc was boiled with sea water.
Our best Etmal (24hr run) was 179nm and lowest 111nm. Our average speed was 5.6kn, ie right on target (I plan with 5.5kn).

A couple of comments regarding our equipment:

Aries – we did not use our windvane as we did not get to practice enough with it prior to our departure. Manually steering the boat was not an issue and also faster.
Aquair100 – the hydro-generator worked very well for the first couple of days and then stopped. We believe due to a diode issue in the generator. Spare parts are on the way to Horta. We fished in the day time and used the solar panel, and then towed the turbine over night.
Solar Panel – the 80W help a lot after the hydro-generator stopped working, especially when we exhausted our batteries (we were able to recharge over 24h to get the engine going again)
iPad – great solution, in waterproof case easily usable in the cockpit. Very powerful due to its advanced apps. We did not run the boats MFD once.
iNavX – very useful and functionally rich application that we used a lot, more userfriendly waypoint (delete groups or all waypoints of a route etc) and chart handling would increase usability significantly
Weather4D Pro – outstanding app that was always spot on (so was the GFS weather model) – improvement: enable current downloads via satellite connection (we were w/out Golf Stream info after we left cellphone reception area)
AIS – while not critical for a sail on the Atlantic, it was always interesting to get details on the freighters around us, we expect a lot more use when going through the Channel
Boom-mounted preventers – a great addition to our toolkit as we where able to set strong preventers w/o having to reach to end of the boom (that most often would be out over the water and hard to reach). We also carry a pulley style preventer that was used then the main was sheeted in a lot and we did not have sufficient wind to stabilize the boom in heavy seas.

Impressions of the trip:

 DJI_0009IMG_0036 IMG_0229 (2) GOPR3656


One thought on “From Nahant to Flores (Azores) in 2015

  1. Thank you very much. The information here is very educational and will enhance my safety on my TransAtlantic crossing………………….In my dreams


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