Leaving Horta yesterday

We knew when we left Horta that the current forecast wasn’t ideal but for the first couple of the days of the passage it would be fine. We cast of lines within an hour of the last crew member arriving and motor sailed as fast as possible to try to outrun the forthcoming weather and see whether overnight we might position ourselves for a safe passage.

Through the night I had little sleep as I was restless. I knew that we needed to stop, but wanted an opportunity to get closer to our destination as well as for later weather models to be downloaded. There was always the chance that the forecast would improve. At 8am this morning, armed with new information, the passage wasn’t going to be any safer so I decided to head in a SE direction to the island of São Miguel where we will seek refuge on the southern side, to let the wind die down.

These calls are never easy, but safety has to be our priority and this is one of the many safety guardrails we put in place as I take my One More Step to live a fuller life. 

One of my sailing buddies – Mike – says that sailing solo can be easier because there is no need to discuss options with the crew. I thought of his comment in the night and decided that as skipper there would be no discussion and I made the decision to abort unless a significant improvement in conditions resulted. As the course shows, I did not get improving news when I downloaded the next weather files.

Decision is made and now we relax, two are sleeping, Robert is on watch and I am typing. Sitting here writing it is peculiar as one could let the current calm conditions dictate decisions, and hope for the best. But I want to err on the conservative.

Weather routing software showing strong winds in the way of sailing to mainland Portugal

1 thought on “A Weather Delay

  1. I congratulate the skipper (who can never escape the sleepness nights and constant re-examination of the situation) on another difficult call.
    I was monitoring Predict Wind from the comfort of my living room last night and I was briefly concerned to see the 1500 GMT position showing Ingwe doing 8.0 kts to the east. Enjoy São Miguel. The wines are supposed to be good there.

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