News from RoRC David Bridges in the Azores

News from RoRC David Bridges in the Azores

Crossing the Atlantic to attend a party...

By David Bridges - 17/07/2018

"You gotta love it when a plan comes together"! Three months ago we sat in the Bahamas deciding to try to cross the Atlantic and today we are in Horta, Faial, in the Azores recuperating from a fantastic week long OCC Pursuit Rally! Yay! Is this a great moment in life or what?

After sailing across the Gulf Stream to Ft Lauderdale and a quick road trip to Virginia to catch up with family I returned to Florida picking up Staffan Agnetun, PO for the West coast of Sweden, in Green Cove Springs where they left BALANCE on the hard for the summer. The two of us prepared BLUE YONDER, including removing and repairing a damaged MaxProp and reinstalling it without hauling out before we departed Ft Lauderdale May 15 heading to Bermuda.

It was a false start! After all of these years sailing I have learned & now relearned that a calendar is the most dangerous thing on a sailboat! We got re-educated by squalls in the Gulf Stream so ducked into Lake Worth to lick our wounds and rest 36 hours waiting for the squalls to subside before having another go at Bermuda. This time was successful! 975 nm and 6.5 days later we anchored in St. Georges after some great sailing and a surprise visit by a rocket ship near dawn on our last day. We enjoyed Bermuda before Staffan departed to Sweden for the summer. I visited local OCC friends living there, Bob & Betsy Baillie of BELAIR.

My mate, Marilyn Doughty, flew in from Virginia for the leg to Horta and her first major offshore passage. Around June 2nd there was an exodus of OCC and other boats bound for the Azores. We all chose different routes, traditional around 38 N, the Great Circle and the southern routes. For essentially all of us it was a benign crossing with days of excellent sailing interspersed with days of calm or light winds & the occasional brief squall but no gales. Most seemed to reach Horta or Flores in about 14 days.

A daily highlight was the OCC Western SSB Net run by Sue Redgrove on CAMOMILE and for some also the SSCA Trans-Atlantic Net run by the excellent crew ashore in the SE USA. OCC check ins included ANTARES II, ALEMBIC, LA AVENTURA, ASANTE, SWEETIE, OCEAN HOBO & BALAENA in addition to CAMOMILE & BLUE YONDER.

One of our personal highlights was transferring some diesel fuel to the grateful crew of FLYING 60 nm out so they could power through the windless last bit. The welcoming sight of magnificent Pico was magical in the setting sun. We arrived in Horta at 0300 Local time after 1,890 nm and 13.5 days to happily raft to CAMOMILE and enjoy a glass of celebratory wine before dropping off for a nice uninterrupted 4 hour sleep and the beginning of a fantastic but hectic week of OCC fun! Marilyn had earned her Full OCC Membership with flying colors! BLUE YONDER safely took us on another lovely ocean cruise of 2,919 nm in 20 days.

Life is good!

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