Azores to England - Letters from the Ocean
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Hope you are all ok! Did you receive the boat report email yesterday? We caught a very large mooring line at 6am in the morning that wrapped around the prop and wedged itself between the shaft and the hull of the boat. It has forced the shaft to come away from the hull putting a hole in the boat…fortunately not penetrating through the boat to cause any leaks. We went from 1600rpm to nothing in a matter of seconds; which we think has consequently damaged the gear box, the engine stalls as soon as we put it into gear. First we tried pulling the line out from the prop shaft using lines from the port and starboard winches, leading through the …… to either side of the rope beneath the boat. Using the winches. This didn't work…well and truly stuck! So, we ended up taking it in turns to dive down and saw the rope free using the galley bread knife. As we had just the one oxygen tank, which was used up whilst one crew member swam down with the GoPro to look at the damage, we had to resort to free diving...no wetsuits on board. It was cold!! The boat turned side on to the waves in the big swell which didn't make it easy to stay beneath the boat. Eventually we cut the excess rope from either side of the prop shaft leaving the rest wedged in.
Without the use of the engine it looks like we are sailing all the way. Not a lot of wind forecast, so it will take longer than we hoped. Rather than going to Southampton we are now headed to Falmouth to pull the boat out of the water and reduce the risk of more problems sailing up the channel with no engine. Please could you let Em know.
After the long and cold morning, I heated some milk and made hot chocolate for us all. We put the sails up and by the evening the winds had picked up. We are now reaching 9-10 knots.
The day was finished on a high, we caught a tuna last night and saw whales, which lifted everyones spirits a bit!!
Supper last night was a hearty miso chicken soup with noodles - went down well and heated everyone up a bit. Then a big banquet lunch today, marinated Tuna kerbabs, ceviche of tuna, avocado, mango and red onion then a chickpea salad. It was yummy if I do say so myself!
Hope you have had a good weekend. Missing you loads. Chomping at the bit to get there!
Love you guys,
We are not sure when we are going to get to land. The winds are light and it is forecast for the winds to get even lighter. Pretty much sitting ducks. The wind direction is also not helping. This morning we were headed for Ireland, lunch time we were west of north and this evening we tacked and now we are pointing south east, straight towards France. So frustrating. We could be looking at a later date, such as, more towards the 10th for our arrival. Either way it is going to take us a long time to get to England.
Frantic talk of rationing food, but there is plenty on board for the next week! Good excuse to use things up. Now we are not crashing around, I am using the time to get jobs done! Spent the day sorting the owners clothes out in his cabin...full photographed inventory! Tomorrow I am going to blitz the galley and saloon. Get organised. Tick a few boxes so I can actually come and see you all and make the dates I said I could if shit hits the fan and we are extremely delayed. Trying to keep myself as fit and busy as possible, getting creative with food, working out on the aft deck, yoga, cleaning, guitar, watches, reading etc etc. Really ready, as you can imagine, to get there and get back to normal. Its easy to get extremely frustrated especially as we are not having much luck! Saying that, we are all laughing away and having a good time. Lots of humour on board! I have been crying with laughter! Never ending Game of Thrones chat.
We gained a crew member today, a swallow has moved in. It has been sitting on the Irish mans shoulder, perching on my arm, nesting on the mates head. Very amusing and incredible. I have some hilarious photos - felt like David Attenborough.. ;) ! We have called it Gulliver. For supper it has had cheese and bread...ha! We have all grown rather fond of it, apart from the Captain..who is not amused what so ever! haha.
So another day down...we have all given up predicting when we will get there as we honestly have no idea! 'We will get there when we get there'. As annoying and frustrating as it is, we are all staying positive as we cannot do anything about the situation.
I look forward to hearing from you guys, nice news from home would be lovely.
Miss you and I really really hope I see you sooner rather than later.
Thanks for your email Mum!
Luck has finally turned...we are expecting a tug boat to meet us tomorrow at 1300 and it is taking us to a marina where we will be hauled out. So, we should be back to land by Sunday. YEEHA! What a journey it has been!
Going to storm through my jobs on board once we are being towed and the boat is more up right, and see if I can get to London/Home at some point next week (depending on how many jobs I can get done). I might go to London and see Em until Friday so we can get the train home together for our parties at the weekend. Please could you ask her if that would be possible/ok with her? I think we will have to delay your visit to the boat until it is fixed and back in the water.
I knew you would like the story about Gulliver. Loads more birds landing on the boat; doves, seagulls and a small brown bird flew into the Saloon this morning…Captain still not amused. Saw a school over 100 dolphins early this morning, throwing tricks out of the waves...it was incredible!! Another Whale again yesterday.
We had a celebratory dinner using up all the veggies I had left this evening, no need to keep them now we know we are nearly home. Its been cloudy and nippy for the last couple of days. Hopefully it will be nicer tomorrow. Big change in the sea state as we hit the more tidal waters. There has been a lot of crashing and banging today with wind against tide.
It is the Mates birthday tomorrow, so I have a cake baked and a very funny card made - a picture I drew that sums up the whole trip - I will send you a photo when we get there.
Looking forward to chat.
See you soooooon! Finally!!!