"Rosita" Reports - Leg 4

Ship Bar

08 16 00 1715UTC 55 39N 05 01W
Past week a canny Scot ( Sam) & Michael in engine room giving the old girl a generator transplant. Rosita's juices now flowing again. Could fry eggs on circuitry of previous monster from Balmar. No need for the microwave. New Panda is mousy quiet and clean. Good welcome at Silvers Marine in Rosneath. A boaters boatyard. Concurrently saw "Chicken Run" at Clydebank. Swam in baths at Helensburgh. Inspected nephew Patrick's house. Visited Stirling. Spectacular castle - beautifully proportioned royal apartment. Battlements, hammer beam roof in Gt Hall, & lots of gory history. Transportation museum in Glasgow. Boys can now recognize a bubble car and other miracles of Imperial engineering. Ship models, trains etc. Now headed down Clyde to Lamlash on the Isle of Arran.

Hope to go west along the top of Ireland tomorrow if the wind and tide will work for us. Then we'll level our lances on the Azores and see what gives. Maybe we'll find some leviathans. Mkl

08 17 00 2030 UTC 55 34N 006 54W Malin Head (NE corner of S Ireland.
Left Arran this am. Fueled in Campbeltown, at tip of Mull of Kintyre & boarded by customs. Happily papers in order & confirmed our UK departure and hence we get 15% tax back on new generator..... Feels good to find some longer swells again. Weather, so far, looks relatively quiet for next few days with suggestion of some N'ly components which would be good. Plan to head around top of Ireland, picking up the 1000 fm line before heading for the Azores. Maybe will find a few more charismatic megafauna as we depart these shores. Minkes, harbor porpoises & furry things aren't what we came to find. Oliver/Sam, Hannah/Tom, and Michael/Chris are the three wat ches (albeit with close parental oversight) for this passage. Much heat yesterda y when Hannah's pinup (the muscular, kilted shot putter on the Scotts oats pkg.) was kidnapped: ransom notes for candy ensued. Holding the cook to a ransom proved to be a bad strategy.....Mkl

08 18 00 1830 UTC 54 17N 1015W 10m N of Inishkea South, off the Mullet Peninsula in Co Mayo, Ireland.
This was the site of the old whaling station we visited in June. No more live right whales here today than in June. Did see two minkes earlier today. The temptation to tarry awhile on the Irish west coast was almost irresistible but the spectre of autumnal meteorological whirligigs keeps us plugging south. It would be nice to have a little bit more wind...... Boys all settling in to what is their first passage longer than 2 days in length: they seem to be going for the Harry Potter re-read record. Sausage quiche and salad for dinner. Water temperature broke the 60 deg F barrier for the first time this summer. Now headed for our first great circle waypoint of an 1192 mile track to Horta [Azores]. No doubt weather considerations will induce deviations. Getting us there about the 26th. Michael.

08 20 00 0136 UTC 51 41N 14 26W 200m W of the Dingle peninsula in S Ireland.
Wind finally filled in this afternoon, and now snoring along on a broad reach at a comfortable 7 to 8 knots. H'cane Alberto, currently WNW of the Azores seems to be thought to be headed N and NE i.e in back of us by the time it comes east as a big low, although we are likely in for a series of fronts that will keep us on our toes. Previous sentence comes courtesy of Locus Weather in Camden ME, email, and a credit card. Ain't technology grand. Boys doing well in the watch-keeping department. In fact on all sides we are falling in to a happy passage-making routine. Dad cooked tonight - spag bol. Visits from a couple of common dolphin schools this evening. Great to see the native awe in the boy's eyes as they crowd into the pulpit. Michael

2040 UTC 49 58N 17 16W Noon/noon distance of 191 miles. Best yet. NNW 15-20. Beyond fishable and drillable bottom, hopefully last of fish boats and 4 miles long seismic arrays for a while. Now headed for transat shipping zone... Taking a jog west to try and avoid a gale in next cople of days. Suellen (our windvane) working harder than anyone else aboard. Hannah had a close encounter with a sperm whale. Seemed to scare the unowot out of the whale given the resultant large cloud of brown stuff in water. Birds mainly fulmars. Still some gannets. A few shearwaters. Water steadily getting warmer. Till next time: Mkl. PS if you don't want to hear from us you can always unsubscribe. While on a passage its good to routinely to let people know we are still afloat. If you reply to wcz2176@pinoak.com, PLEASE do not use the "reply to" function without deleting my text. No need to pay again to read wot I rote.

08 22 00 0010UTC 48 04 N 020 29W Course 227M
Maybe 4 days from Horta. Being harassed by a low that formed west of Ireland that is coming more or less to our east, depending on whose faxes you read. Currently blowing NW25-35. Yesterday saw another lower shroud strand at the upper swage. 2 hours later we had a new shroud rigged. Makes all that stuff last winter seem worthwhile in a real hurry: mast steps, workbench, spare wire and terminals, tools etc etc. Have the pieces to replace the last remaining lower - will do in Horta if not before.... It's a pleasure to watch the boys grow in to the responsibilities of an ocean passage. A functional family is a fine thing: to see it grow in functionality 800 miles offshore is a relief and a pleasure. Marine mammals not as flirtatious as they were on the trip over in May. Brief visits from delphinds of some kind. Miss those eagle eyes from New England Aquarium. Michael.

Dolphin

08 23 00 0010 UTC 45 49N 22 53W 225M 490m from Horta. Sat. reef main back up last night. Prev. 24h ripsnorting sizzlenroll w. just st'sail. Wt. of hissing, breaking, hull-thumping rollers gone down a lot. Decks pretty clean too. Was 30 gusts to 40, now a steady 20. No hatch leaks!!!! Low that has been pushing along to our east remains busy but just about far enough away to be really quite useful. Last night tiller lines on self steerer parted. Interesting ride on the back end to replace (now an emerald green rope from Cork). In terms of marine life: just a few shearwaters. No whales or dolphins 2c. Menu restrained to 1 pot affairs for past few days.....Unspoken acceptance of whatever we throw at our children never ceases to amaze. To hear what they see and fear - yet they seem to have implicit trust in what we do. Michael PS Fate of Hannah's pinup (kiltedmusculars hotputteronScottsOats pkg): course it was released w no ransom pd. Threaten a Moore with no food and it's all over.

08 24 00 42 45N 25 21W 0440UTC 290 m to Horta.
Things decompressing as the pressure rises and the sea state, mal de mer, wind speed and our speed falls. Suspect we'll be back to the old tin topsail soon. Last night Sam emerged into the cockpit from a 48h multi Dick Francis binge, opened his eyes and said "Dad - do you see how the boat surfs down these swells?" I remember the 1st time I realized boats usually went over ocean swells, rather than they over it. Great to see his respect for the boat and his total awe. No birds or marine mammals at all. Nuffink. Been reading Moitessier's "Long Way": a 1.5x around the globe alone in a boat in 1965 in search of something, but in the at times lucid looking he shows an amazing feel for his environs. An enviable understanding of weather as you see it. He communed with shearwaters too. Planning a late September passage to Madiera after looking for right whales and practicing the tourist art some more. School starts next week... Mkl

08 25 00 0051UTC 40 52N 026 56W 223M 150m to Horta.
Motored for most of 24th pm, then wind filled in with a humid, 15 kt norwester, so now sliding again at 7-8 kt, with GPS saying we might make Horta by dusk on Sat. if wind holds. As wind filled in I looked up from changing some fuel filters to see the following: Hannah and Sam tweaking sails to use the new wind, Oliver deftly coaxing a series of weather maps off the radio, and Chris and Tom in their bunks discussing the pilot whales we saw this afternoon. I jest not - this trip has all the qualities I could ever have dreamed up, as ways to spend good family times together. The expectation of making a landfall is heightened by the water temp climbing to 70F.
Swimming in Scotland involved more beach engineering and less actual submersion. Tonight's diversion is a derelict (unlit) trimaran that is reported to be drifting across our track. Oliver and Sam have been tinkering with the radar auto-watch gadget. Michael

Horta 08 25 00 2330 UTC Docked Horta 2130. Berthed alongside Silurian - Kit Rogers - another whale person currently chartering to BBC. Sense of achievement of family Moore is palpable. Time now for a long deep sleep. Don't expect much from this oracle in the next few days as we sleep and then go tourist. Michael.

Where are the Azores?

09 01 00
Hannah wrote this: The euphoria when we made our landfall in the Azores was out of this world. We saw Graciosa around 10 AM, and had a wonderful sail past St. Jorge and Pico before sailing into Horta around 9PM, with the setting sun. The land smelled so sweet. We were all very high, but also found it hard to be in the middle of a bustling marina. In fact, they are all chafing a bit for us to move out to more remote habitat. I live in a family of Hobbits. The people here are wonderful especially when they find out where we are from. Tom and Chris have made friends with 2 Swedish boys, and the pack of 6 has been having a lot of fun at the beach. There is a tradition that all visiting yachts leave a painted mural on the marina wall. It^“s bad luck not to do so. Our moniker evolved organically. Michael tut tutted the whole idea of painting the pier. Not enviro PC, but gradually was subdued. Sam came up with the concept, got the paint together with me, and mapped it all out. It is a large circle, Rosita red in the middle, large white border. Rosita in very trendy outsized writing across the top (black+white), and a huge right whale through the middle, overflowing on either side. Of course we end up with Michael on his belly for ages, modifying the art work to anatomical perfection, with calosities in just the right spots. It all came out looking great. I was shocked! We started home-school this week; all^“s well so far. Best wishes to all, Hank

Michael wrote this: Stay in Horta has been good, in spite of spending the whole week on the phone with a snail express courier in UK, UPS in Lisbon, and agent in Horta trying to get a new control panel for new genset that got a dose of salt down a vent shaft on passage. Part is still awol. Hannah reckons boat should be called ^”Gizmos and Gadgets^‘. Whatever happened to a suit of sails, a pair of oars and a water butt? Will leave for Flores (130m west of here) once in part hand. Took a ride around the island yesterday (083100). Many older buildings in some villages cracked up by the earthquake 2 y. ago. Lots of building repair going on ^÷ looks like earthquake damage rate exceeds the emigration rate. Short hike on the Campelinos volcano that emerged off the north of the island in 1957. A few sprigs of grass emerging out of the ash but still essentially barren. A moonscape. Also visited central caldera. Wispy cloud hanging in center. Awesome silence. Was a lake in base until recent quake cracked lake base. Green walls. Fields on island all small, hedged with hydrangea. Mainly cows. Milked by folks from the villages that are all coastal bar one. Significant export is cheese. Some bananas and pineapples. Heard today that we got some funding from Nat. Geo. Hoping to do a transect west from here in the next week or so. Need that generator part first^Ň. People here v friendly to us folks from SE Mass. Lots of links to New Bedford.


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