Thursday, October 11, 2007

Portugal Bound - Day 2

Expected to have the lightest winds, Day 2 carried us 170nm with little time on the engine. We're already a third of the way to southern Portugal! We continued on our rhumb line spending the day on the west side of the Bay of Biscay, which has been in a good mood during our visit. We entered on a starboard beam reach and the wind gradually clocked around us so we flew a spinnaker for a few hours and are now on a port beam reach.

I've noticed the water change from more green tones - yes, even Ireland's water is green - to what is now dark azure blue. The boat that was in our shadow, an English ketch named Bootlegger, passed us under engine in late morning. They made radio contact with us and like many other boats we have met heading south, they are eventually bound for the Canary Islands to join the ARC (Atlantic Rally Crossing) which departs for the Caribbean in mid November.

Day 2 was a beautiful dry sunny day that allowed us to shed the foulies and extra layers of clothing for a few hours in the afternoon. We had the rare experience of sailing past an enormous sea turtle with a head the size of a crash helmet and its prehistoric looking shell resembled an upturned ribbed dinghy. (Unfortunately no photos.) We continue to wonder just how old this amazing creature must be. By evening we were bundling up with extra warmth for what was a surprisingly chilly night. Since it's just my captain and me, were back to night watches of four hours on, four hours off from 8PM to noon. Watch or no watch, the nights are long as it's dark by 7:30PM and the sun doesn't start to rise until around 7:30AM.

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