Odin's position 31/5

40 18N 20 53W

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Departure of Odin

Most of the Norwegian yachts have been here for a while, since there was a weather window today they decided to leave as early as possible. Otherwise they would have had to stay until Tuesday at least. This meant that Sofia had just a little more than 48 hours to get ready for sailing again. She managed one shower but laundry will have to wait until they get to Dublin. Yesterday she packed and moved her things over to Odin and when that was done, Catrine and I went over to Odin to check out her new home and make sure it is a good and secure one. We were very pleased with what we saw and know that Lars, the skipper, is experienced. Sofia has even got her own cabin, with a double bed and a closet big enough to hold almost all of the clothes on Cantare, we were just a tiny bit jealous. In the evening the girls and Alan from Starfire went to a restaurant to eat a last meal together. It was very good, each of us got a warm stone and a plate with raw meat and sea food. You put the raw stuff on the stone and wait for it to get ready, a lovely and nice way to prolong the dinner. We were too full to have desert, although I had planned to have two different ones I had to admit that there was barely place for a small coffee.

Six a clock this morning was the time when Odin, Maggie V and Safari had planned to leave. Of course we went over there to give Sofia a last hug and wave them off. Sofia sent me a really sweet text message from her new bunk during the night, she couldn’t sleep although it was fantastic in her big and warm nice smelling cabin. I will miss her a lot and it was sad to see her sail away, but I know it is for the best. We wish them fair winds and I will keep you updated on Odin’s progress, maybe Sofia will be able to post something on the blog, if not she will tell you all about it when she gets to Dublin.

Emelie is staying at a hotel with Alan, so it’s only Catrine and I on Cantare now. Catrine will stay until the 6th of June two days after the arrival of my dad. Now it is time to explore the island! / The Captain

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Big Changes

We had a lovely dinner on our first night here, lot’s of friends joined us and celebrated our arrival. When they closed the bar we went to the Norwegian yacht Maggie V and had some delicious chicken soup together with cold Caribs that reminded us of what we have left behind and what we have shared. We have all been together on the Atlantic two times and here we were gathered for a last joyful night. Dawn came in no time and it was well after seven in the morning before we returned to Cantare. Two hours later it was time to wake up and move the yacht. We were moored as the fourth boat and the big ship closest to the pontoon was leaving. It was blowing a lot, but with four girls onboard, although all of us were a bit shaky, it went without any problems. Now we are the second yacht tied up to Trollwind another Norwegian yacht that arrived a few hours after us.

We, Maria and Sofia, have a rather big announcement to make. We have decided to split up, from now on Sofia will join the Norwegian yacht Odin and sail with them towards Norway via Ireland and Scotland. Maria will sail Cantare with the help of her father to England and from there on she hopes to get help from friends. Don’t take this the wrong way though. We are still good friends and will finish this adventure together. Sofia will join Cantare again somewhere on the way back. But, right now we need time away from each other. Almost 11 months on tiny Cantare is a long time. We are very different and most of the time that’s what makes us so strong but sometimes, and more frequently the longer we’ve been away, we tend to argue over small and unnecessary things. All though the decision came quite quick we have given it a lot of thought and are both very pleased with the solution. Actually since we took the decision we have stopped argue, both feeling this is the right way. Had we not taken this step who knows how we would feel about each other in the end. We have great respect for each other and the fact that we can solve this without fighting will make us cherish all the good times even more. Sailing is all about changing plans, you never know what will happen, as we’ve told you before. / Captain Maria and First Mate Sofia

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The Coming Home Party

Don't forget to book the 10th of July in your calendars, it is a very special day! The 10th of July we will try to return to reality again and the fantastic adventure we are experiencing now will sadly come to an end. Sometimes we think we almost live in a dream, the life we are living is so far away from reality back home. As much as we are looking forward to coming home and see all our friends and families again it is also little scary.... The 10th of July we are sailing home to Höganäs harbor and we promise a big arrival party in true sailor's style! You are all so very welcome to Höganäs to celebrate with us! We are so much looking forward meeting all of you new friends that are supporting and cheering us during our trip! You are amazing! More information will follow! /First Mate and the Captain

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Champagne

video

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Pictures from Cuba

New (or old) pictures from Cuba are uploaded. Enjoy them while we explore Faial and we will give you pictures from the Atlantic as soon as we have time. / The Captain

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ARRIVED IN THE AZORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Around 1400 UTC (same as local time) we arrived in Horta, Faial, the Azores! Our dear Norwegian friends onboard Safari, Maggy V and Odin welcomed us as well as Alan and Tom onboard Starfire! The champagne was soon popped and the four starving souls of us then went to Peter's Café for lunch, too bad it wasn't lunch hour, kitchen closed but we luckily managed to get som toast. It is so strange being ashore again, but indeed wonderful!! Our much longed for shower will have to wait until tomorrow though since the showers just closed, but what the heck, wait another day for shower is not that big of a deal since we after 30 days at sea sort of have forgotten what it is all most taking a long hot shower. Will go for the Gin and Tonics at Peter’s instead……:)

I just tried to update some pictures and movies from our arrival but the net seems to be very slow at the moment, but as soon as we’ll get sober enough to find proper net there will be loads of pictures and movies. We have about 240 pics from Cuba waiting for you!

Now we are off to celebrate the fact that we made it to the Azores!!!!!!

Over and Out!
/A very happy First Mate

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Day 30 - The last night and day!

Position: N 38° 30' W 028° 49' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 11,1

Oh what a night! I had a real good sleep this night and didn't even wake up when the other girls started watching Sex And The City in the saloon. And when the time came for my watch I gladly got up and put on my clothes. Sofia told me that we only had 50 nautical miles left. Wow, that felt like nothing! In the cockpit this night/morning it was really cosy. The wind vane steered perfectly, we were doing a good speed at about 5 knots, it wasn't raining and no unwelcome waves surprised me in the cockpit. What more can a girl ask for on her last night watch?

Maybe a cup of tea. I started boiling some water in the electric kettle but all of a sudden it started smelling like burned plastic and there were some smoke coming from the top of the kettle. Quickly I pulled the cored out of the socket but of course all the girls had already woke up by the bad smell and asked me what was going on. I reassured them that we weren't in any danger and that they should go back to sleep. It smelled awful in the boat but if you should think positive at least it was good timing for the electric kettle to break down now in the end of our Atlantic crossing and not before. And I did get my cup of tea because the water was warm enough for that!

My watch passed by quickly and after it I creped down in a bunk again to work even more on my beauty sleep. I managed to sleep for two hours and then I woke up to the sharp smell of perfume. The smell came from Emelie who was working on her appearance for the arrival and doing some makeup! By now she is all set for a big welcome party at the harbour! Which is coming closer really fast now. It's only 15 nautical miles left, Maria has spotted land and we are listening to Portuguese radio! Our estimated time of arrival is at 12 am and we are hoping on that today's lunch can be eaten ashore.

It feels great and a bit surreal that we finally are closing in on Horta. 30 days onboard Cantare has gone by quickly, at least it feels like it now in the end. All the trouble we have had has at least been manageable and when I in the future will think back on the crossing, I'll only laugh about all of it and have some great memories.

 

/Deckhand Catrine

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Day 29 - Paradise a place that lies beyond hell

Position: N 38° 23' W 030° 55' UTC 1700

Nautical miles left: 110

When I woke up this morning I was totally convinced that I had woken up in hell. The boat was rocking heavily from side to side, I was still as wet and cold as when I went to bed, and the floor looked a bit like a swimming pool. I looked at the mobile. Only half past 8. Good! 30 minutes until I had to be dressed and up on watch. I pulled the duvet over my head to try and get a little bit warmer. But the smell from the duvet was almost unbearable, so I quickly gave up. What was I to wear today? My still soaking wet clothes from last night, or my last dry, clean sweeter and pants? I looked outside. Still raining. I reached out my hand to feel how my sailing jacket and pants were doing. Not noticeably dryer than when I hang them up 5 hours ago. A sighed, and started to put on the wet clothes.

Yesterday was a great day. We were making great speed, the waves were tiny and the sun was shining. With less than 300 Nm left, me and Sofia decided to take a shower. Since we are still living on a small 31 footer in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, we are not talking about a long, hot freshwater shower. No, we are talking about a quick, cold, saltwater shower. Some may say - Why bother, you are soon in harbour. But after 10 days trying to wash yourself with wet napkins, even a cold saltwater shower seems tempting. We spent the day relaxing in cockpit, talking about everything that we wanted to do and eat when we get to Horta. I think that we agreed that a shower, diner at a restaurant and one or five beers at Peter´s café, sounded like a great plan. Excited over the fact that we were starting to get close, me and Sofia decided to do a " 2 on watch night". Even if it means being on watch from 21.00 to 3.00 it is so much more fun. And who wants to sleep anyway ?

The watch started out just fine. We were holding a steady easterly course and doing about 5.5 knots. The wind had started to shift from west to blowing a little bit more from the south, so we decided to take off the spinnaker pole from our headsail, that we had put up earlier. When we are sailing downwind, we sometimes spread the headsail with the spinnaker pole to increase speed, but when we have the wind in on our beem, the spinnaker pole tends to be inefficient. Just as we had taken it down the wind seemed to pick up a bit, increasing the speed even more. 30 minutes later the rain came. And from there it just got worse. During the rest of the watch the rain was pouring down. The wind shifted speed and direction a hundred times. I can't even count the times we put a reef in the main, furled the headsail and then the wind died and we had to take the reef out again. With waves flushing over the boat, and us. Monitor struggled bravely, but had a hard time to keep up with all the sudden changes, so we had to hand steer quite a lot. After a while my sailing jacket and pant gave in and I could feel how the water found it's way all the way in to my skin. Despite all of this I actually had quite a great time. We were surfing the waves doing about 7 knots. And you could feel the adrenalin pumping. Me and Sofia were cheering each other on while steering, gossiping a bit in between. The few times the monitor actually managed to steer we kept warm with some silly gymnastic exercises, making us giggle and forget the rain for a while. 6 hours later Maria and Catrine took over again and I could step down in the saloon. Tired but happy. Me and Sofia did our best to hang up our wet clothes so that they would dry, but it is hard when the space is very limited and the air humid and cold. I quickly brushed my teeth and crawled under the duvet and put in the earplugs. Boat was rocking, throwing me from side to side, the duvet was damp and I was freezing cold. Somehow I managed to fall asleep anyway.

Back to hell. So there I was sitting in my wet clothes, preparing mentally to take the step out into the cockpit. I kept telling myself, only one more day left, only one more day left. Before I stepped outside I went to the forepeak to tell poor Sofia that it might be best if we did another double watch. So that we could help each other with the sails and steering. She yawned and nodded. I stepped out into the cockpit and placed myself behind the steering wheel. Sending a very happy Maria down below. I stood there in the pouring rain, fighting to keep a steady course through the waves, and actually feeling a bit sorry for my self, when all of a sudden I saw a strip of blue sky behind me. I don't know why, but somehow that was all I needed. The feeling of being in hell slowly started to drift away and I started smiling. Ten minutes later I could hear music streaming out of the cockpit speakers and Sofia jumped out in the cockpit. Ignoring the weather and waves we danced and sang along for a while. It is funny how fast things can change.

Right now it is sunny and we are still doing great speed towards the Azores. Hopefully we will get there around noon tomorrow. It feels unreal, exciting and a bit sad. All at once. Despite all the bad luck and the days when everything have felt like hell, this is greatest trip I have ever done. The experience, the craziness, the sailing, the teamwork and friendship, the wildlife, and all the fun. I am going to miss it so much. But when we get to the Azores it is time for me to set of for new adventures. One of the things that I have realised and always will keep with me, is that paradise is a place that lies beyond hell. Sometimes the road there is hard to walk. But in the end the reward is definitively worth it.

Love / Deckhand Emelie Hope to see you all in Höganäs the 10th of july

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Day 28 - Hell turning to Heaven

Position: N 38° 13' W 033° 33' UTC 2000

Nautical miles left: 235

Always look at the bright side of life, (whistle).....

Always look at the bright side of life, (whistle)…..

…I'm not too sure about the rest of the lyrics, but I hope you get my point! Yesterday was really about finding those small things that make you happy. Like for instance finding an extra pair of dry socks to warm the freezing feet and discover a lost package of crackers. But what really made the grey, rainy horrible day much better was a message on the satellite phone from Peter Knudsen. Thank you very much for your contribution, Peter, so kind of you!

And as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. Today I woke up to a sun shining from a clear blue sky and a the wind coming from a pleasant westsouthwesterly direction. It was little too close downwind though causing the headsail to hide behind the main so I helped Emelie put up the spinnaker pole and voila we increased speed at once with little more than 1 knot! Wonderful! We have been butterfly sailing smoothly since noon and hoping to continue doing so all the way to Horta, Faial. At the moment our ETA is Thursday afternoon, so let's pray the weather forecast is true and we can keep the southwesterly wind! Love/First Mate Sofia

 

 

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Day 27 - Hell on the Atlantic

Position: N 37° 59' W 035° 50' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 343

I would love to be able to write that life is wonderful aboard Cantare, that we are doing good speed towards Horta and that the food served is delicious. But, it's the opposite! Today we are experience hell on the Atlantic. Our hell features grey clouds, heavy rain, wind against us, constant wind speed changes, building waves, unpleasant unpredictable boat movements and a damp interior with mould smelling quilts. To make it worse there is water on the floor, some of it because we forgot to close the valve on the toilet sink and the rest seep in from different hard-to-do-something-about-places. We have to take turns going down on our knees and scoop it out, the small bilge pump that is supposed to do the job has long since stopped working, of course. Still, I think it is days like this that show how good the team work is and the memories of this crossing will forever entertain ourselves. So much has happened and we aren't there yet. A few more days and we will see land! / The Captain

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Day 26 - "Negerbollar"

Position: N 37° 51' W 036° 50' UTC 1700
Nautical miles left: 391

Today is another gray day on the ocean. Not much is happening and it feels like all we do is sleep and dream of what we are going to do when we get back on land. I'm definitely planning on eating a hole lot of gourmet food! But I shouldn't be complaining because things are going pretty good anyway. The wind vane is doing the steering and although there isn't that much wind we are doing a steady speed of 5 knots. It's pretty warm in the air and during my watch in a few hours I think it will be quite nice to sit in the cockpit and finish of the book that I'm enjoying right now. Maria actually did some cookies earlier called "negerbollar / chokladbollar" (which translated into English perhaps is called "chocolate balls"). They are a easy to make Swedish cookie since you just mix up the ingredients oatmeal, sugar, cacao, water and margarine, and then roll small balls out of the mix. And if you are really lazy you don't even need to do the rolling part, you can just grab a spoon and start digging directly into the mix, which of course it what we did. They were really tasty!

/Catrine

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Day 25 - Bad luck has turned around

Position: N 37° 40' W 039° 07' UTC 1400

Nautical miles left: 499

Finally it feels like our bad luck has turned around. At least for a short while. Yesterday was an amazing day. No wind what so ever, but sunny and relaxing. With dolphins playing around the boat. Normally slow days like that make me a bit stressed, but not yesterday. After all the bad weather we have had lately it was actually nice to have a calm day. We motored the entire day, and since the diesel indicator is not working properly it was a little bit risky. We made some calculations and decided to stop the engine when the indicator said 10 litres left. And save the hopefully existing, last litres for entering the harbour in Horta. When I got of my watch at 24.00 last night we had 11 litres left. But just then the winds had picked up again and we could start sailing again. Perfect timing!

This morning we had our first close encounter with an other sailing yacht in a very long time. I called them up on the VHF and it turned out to be our Russian friends from the ARC. It is amazing how a big ocean sometimes can seem so small. We chatted for a while and decided to meet up for a beer in Peters' café when we get to Horta. Since they have a bigger boat and more diesel left they will probably get there a while before us. But we are slowly getting closer.

Today we actually have less than 500 Nm left. This is going to be celebrated with canned fruit salad . Since it also is Catrine´s fiction birthday today we might even open a tin of pineapple. Already looking forward to tonight.

LOVE / Deckhand Emelie

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Day 24 - Reflections and Satellite Communication

Position: N 37° 26' W 040° 59' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 590

As the story of the girls on the Atlantic Ocean told you yesterday, my lunch consisted of a shrimp cocktail a la mustard and parmesan. An extraordinary combination if you ask me, almost deserving to be on the menu in a michelain restaurant, almost. The attempt of cooking pasta and rice with the slowest electric kettle on earth wasn't as successful though, and to be honest, living on cold cans isn't that exciting and definitely nothing we planned on doing when we took off from Cuba. When thinking back on whether we could have done something differently in order to avoid some of the problems we have had onboard, we haven't really come up with something particular. There are just some minor things we would consider changing. Like for instance not having the fishing line dragging behind the boat when the thunderstorm hit us. (The fishing line later got caught in the propeller of the water generator and destroyed it). Doing the crossing again we might would consider a stop at Bermuda to refuel etcetera since 3000 nautical miles isn't round the corner so to speak. However, when planning the route the power problem caused by the broken wind/water generator that left us with the engine as our only battery charger, wasn't really in mind. I just wanted to give you some reflections upon the problems we have had and let us face it, when crossing the Atlantic Ocean or during any other longer trip, you have to be aware of the fact that you most certainly will have to deal with a number of minor or major issues! And to conclude my reflections, we were damn lucky who had such a smooth crossing last time!

Now to what I intended to talk about in today's post: satellite communication, our link to the outer world while at sea. We have had some questions concerning our communication possibilities and whether we have internet or not and I will try to sort it out. Friends have asked us why we haven't replied to text messages they have sent to our cell phones. On the ocean there is no mobile network whatsoever, if we are lucky we sometimes have network coverage some miles from the coast but that is it. While sailing our only communication with you is through satellites. Onboard we have a satellite phone called Iridium Motorola 9555 (we have gotten some requests whether it is on sale and yes, most probably it is when we are coming home). The sat phone more or less look like an old cell phone with antenna one used to have 10-15 years ago, or what we in Sweden refer to a brick - tegelsten, an extremely expensive brick. Anyhow, before we left Sweden we signed a contract with a company called Mailasail and purchased 500 minutes to a total cost of around 600EUR. The 500 minutes are valid one year and have recently rapidly diminished mostly due to the large weather files we have downloaded. How do we use the sat phone? We use it simply to upload and download emails with a "secret" email which we operate though Outlook on my old computer (banned at sea while it is so power consuming and nowadays almost falling apart) and Windows Live Mail on Maria's computer. The computer connects to the sat phone through an USB cable and then we connect to the internet. To update our blog we send an email to the blog account which thereafter updates automatically. Theoretically we can surf the internet, but since the connection is so slow it would take forever and cost us a fortune. The minutes are ticking while loading mail and this being so we have chosen to not to go public with our sail mail and therefore only given it to family and friends. Our 500 minutes finished yesterday and we had to buy another 50 minutes. And to answer the question whether it is possible to sponsor our blogging: Absolutely! More minutes mean more pictures! lol!

So far the engine is running and we are not out of diesel yet! In today's calm Maria took a little refreshing bath and put back the wind vane rudder on which we have changed the breaking tube. So when it starts blowing we hopefully have self steering again! The wind generator is also temporally fixed and can with a bit of luck give us some amps and episodes of Sex and the City if (when) we will run out of fuel. The story of the girls on the Atlantic Ocean continues and until next time have a look on the blog of our insurance company Europeiska, I have posted a Swedish update about leaving Cuba and the crossing so far.

Have a very nice weekend everybody and to my dear friend Lotta who is getting married to her Magnus tomorrow; best wishes!

Love/First Mate Sofia

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Day 23 - The story about life on Cantare

Position: N 37° 08' W 042° 24' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 660

In the sunny cockpit of Cantare, somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean, four girls were enjoying life. One was behind the wheel, complaining about how cold it was. Girl two and three were stretched out on the benches, one each, and the fourth girl, the last to join, had to sit on the floor. Although there was almost no wind the air felt chilly, memories of the warm West Indies were becoming more surrealistic and the final destination Sweden felt closer. The girls not behind the wheel were somewhat sheltered from the wind and had stripped down to their panties trying to heat their bodies with the sun's help. Inside the boat it was damp and freezing, making it hard to sleep during the nights and leaving a lingering feeling of coldness during the days.

The sisters were comparing how long the hair under their arms had become when Sofia said:

'Catrine, what's that white stuff under your arm?'

Catrine answered calmly:

'It's deodorant for the coming days.'

Swimming around the boat was now almost impossible, the water temperature was well below the recommended 25 degrees, last time the girls checked it was only 19 degrees. Therefore it was not possible to wash oneself daily and extra deodorant was a smart move.

A while later Sofia said:

'What are we having for lunch today?'

Emelie though for a while and answered:

'I'm thinking about a tin of carrots.'

Sofia:

'Could you mix those strange mushrooms with some parmesan for me?'

Emelie:

'Sure.'

Sofia:

'If your not having your bread crumbles could you maybe add them…and some mustard.'

Maria wrinkled her nose and started to discuss her lunch with Catrine. They agreed to split Maria's kidney beans tin and Catrine's green beans tin. They topped it with some parmesan. It was a lot better than it sounded. Sofia claimed that her rather nasty combination was good as well. Life without LPG wasn't that bad. Still, every conversation about what's possible to eat ashore had been banned.

The wind died after a while and the girls were forced to start the engine. Almost 100 motor hours now, will they make it through Azores High before the diesel tank is empty? To be continued… / The Captain

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 22 - Diet for the rest of the time?

Position: N 36° 55' W 043° 40' UTC 2000

Nautical miles left: 721

We just saw another whale! Maria called us all up to the cockpit because she saw a lot of water splashing ahead of us, and shortly thereafter we all saw the whale on our portside! That was cool! And it was really close to us, about 10 meters distance from Cantare maybe.

Another overwhelming thing that has happened to us today is that we have come to realize that we are out of camping gas. This means that from here on after it will only be served cold food onboard Cantare, since we can't use the stove anymore. The second bottle of camping gas that we thought was half full actually turned out to be empty. Which is strange! We used it for a while during our sailing from Bahia de Vita to Varadero but we really thought there would be more of it left. Apparently not though. Emelie went practical and started going through all of our food and sorted it up in different groups: eatable without cooking and not eatable without cooking. Luckily most of it were canned vegetables such as beans, pees, corn and olives so there are actually a lot of it that we can eat easily without heating it up. And we got 3 cans of tuna each! But some of it like the canned sausage I'd rather not eat without cooking so I do hope that we get to the Azores soon. Tomorrow however we have a real good plan! The winds are going to die out by then and therefore we are going to run the engine for a while, and during that time we are going to use our water cooker for boiling water which will hopefully get us some eatable couscous, rice and pasta. Which we then can stash up on for some days so that we get some more food. Splendid, isn't it?! Lets just hope it works. Otherwise I think these last days on Cantare will be a real tough diet for me!

/Deckhand Catrine

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Day 21- Great speed

Position: N 36° 26' W 046° 29' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 860

Today we have been out at sea for 21 days. Some days it feels like forever and some days it feels like we just left. After this long the days seem to float together. It gets hard to remember which day of the week it is and what date it is. Luckily we have a calendar, friend and family to remind us. But I must say that with only 850 Nm left, the Azores are finally starting to feel close. Right now I would give a lot for a hot shower, dry and good smelling clothes and a bed in which you don't have to sleep with all our clothes in to keep warm. Soon, very soon that is reality.

The last 24 hours we have had a lot of wind and we have been doing great speed. Me and Sofia did 18 Nm in only 3 hours! Not bad at all. And that was towards the Azores. Now that we don't have a GPS on all the time it is hard to sail in a straight line. We only check GPS every third hour. So sometimes even if we make great speed we don't get as much closer as we thought. I woke up this morning still not dry from last nights flushing waves and my muscles definitively reminded me that I had been hand steering for 3 hours in high waves. But for getting 18 Nm closer it was definitively worth it. And to be honest it is actually quite fun to hand steer when Cantare is surfing down the waves.

Today almost as a reward for last days crappy weather, the sun has finally decided to make an appearance again. It is still cold. But even so I think that an hour or two sitting in the cockpit in just t-shirt and shorts is necessary. To get the slowly fading tan back and to recharge.

Hugs and kisses /Deckhand Emelie

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Day 20 - Pringles instead of Champagne

Position: N 36° 16' W 048° 11' UTC 2000

Nautical miles left: 942

It is freezing cold in the saloon! Even I, the most warm-blooded person onboard I think, have started to look for my underpants and skiing socks. And I can't count the times I woke up this early morning with my teeth chattering, shivering of cold. And as you probably already are familiar with the list of things that are breaking down is just getting longer every day. But I will not focus on that, it is what it is and misery is part of the adventure! Instead I will celebrate the fact that I had a wonderful hand steering watch during the afternoon yesterday. Surfing down the waves, sometimes doing 8 knots, that is awesome sailing! Unfortunately the wind had eased a little to my night watch, but instead I was accompanied by splendid stars and playful dolphins. There is another thing I would like to celebrate too, this morning we broke the 1000 line, now we have less than 1000 nautical Miles to the Azores, Hurray, Hurray, Hurray!!! This happening should have been celebrated with champagne but since the fridge is shut down to save power, it would be a waste serving the sparkling drops room temperature. -Why not put the champagne in the freezing cold saloon? I have thought about it too, but in the daytime the sun often comes through making the saloon rather pleasant, We'll celebrate with an old dented box of Pringles instead. Love/FirstMate

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Day 19 - A Grey Day

Position: N 34° 55' W 050° 43' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 1083

Yesterday close to midnight the second low hit us. Emelie and Sofia had 40 knots wind from the SW with gusts of more than 50 knots. Strangely I slept very well in the fore cabin. The best I have in many days, I guess it was because Cantare moves more steady with stronger winds and in the fore cabin you don't get disturbed by watch changes. Emelie woke me up at 3 am, three hours earlier than my watch start. Catrine was due to go on watch and I was to keep her company since it was so windy. The wind had by then dropped to "only" 30 knots, Catrine felt secure in the cockpit and soon told me that I could sleep on the lee bunk in the saloon if I slept without ear plugs. I kept all my clothes on as well as my lifejacket, ready to go out in an instant should Catrine call. When it was time for my watch I stepped out into a grey world. Although the sun supposedly was above the horizon it felt like early dawn, the grey compact clouds diminishing the daylight. A minimum of the headsail was unfurled, still the covered distance had been good during the night. As the wind decreased and settled on 20 knots I unfurled the sail. The grey waves towered behind us and once in a while white spray jumped into the cockpit. I tried to hide behind the spray hood, sometimes I failed and got covered in cold (20 degrees) water, some of it trickling down my neck. From time to time a group of dolphins swam around the boat, playing in the waves. I felt quite good in my little world, happy to be doing nothing while Monitor the wind vane steered. I had awaken Emelie and adjusted the course when the sails started to flutter. I went behind the wheel to get Monitor on course again. It didn't work, as soon as I let go of the wheel Cantare turned. I looked astern and noticed directly that the Monitor rudder was floating on the surface. Sadly it wasn't disengaged but broken. The tube that is broken is a part that's supposed to brake if we collide with something, therefore I have a spare one. But, right now the waves are way too big to allow me to change the tube. I have secured the rudder and we will have to await smoother sea. Hand steering it is, at least for a while. It is a grey day. / The Captain

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Day 18 - Yet another day on the Atlantic

Position: N 035° 00' W 052° 58' UTC 1400

Nautical miles left: 1188

Today is a sunny day and we try to relax and gather our strength as much as we can, preparing for the arriving low that will hit us in the evening. It's strange that the weather can shift so quickly, going from sunny to stormy in just some hours. While the waves are still quite small Maria is going to bake bread. Yummy! Our food supply is getting less exiting for each day that goes by so newly baked bread will be a real treat. A lot of the talks we have nowadays is actually about the topic food. This morning Maria and I were listing food that we want to eat back home in Sweden: avocado, strawberries, smoothies, ham, lasagne, salmon, beefs, apples, potatoes and so on…. Emelie joined in by announcing a menu for a coming party that she has planned for the future. Her menu sounded so delicious that it started to water in my mouth! Apart from dreaming about food I dream a lot of that marvellous day when we will reach the Azores. It's a long way still if you look on the map, approximately 11 days left, but it feels like we are closing in now. And when we get to the Azores we are going to treat ourselves with some nice restaurant dining!

/ The very food loving deckhand Catrine

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Day 17- The low

Position: N 34° 48' W 054 19' UTC 1700

Nautical miles left: 1254

First of all I want to say a big thank you for all the nice e-mails and text messages I got on my birthday. I appreciated them a lot.

Yesterday was the day when the long expected low arrived. Our first low so far on this Atlantic crossing and the low that we had been preparing for the last days. I am glad to say that we sailed through it safely. Hopefully the bad luck that we have had the last week finally is over. We were expecting winds around 30 knots, high waves and rain. And that is also what we got. Occasionally we had winds up tp 45 knots but they didn't last long. I must admit that the waves got a little bit scary high during the night but Cantare handled the waves great and you soon got used to them. As a safety precaution we had watch in pairs 6 hour at the time. To be honest it was actually quite cosy to have company during your night watch. Me and ´Sofia spent the night singing Christmas carols, gossiping and drinking tea.

This morning we downloaded another big weather file and it looks like we have new lows hitting us every other day for the next week. At least we now know that we can handle them!

Love / Deckhand Emelie

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Day 16 - Emelie's 26th Birthday!

Position: N 34° 29' W 056° 49' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 1377

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday dear Emelie, Happy Birthday too YOU! Today we are celebrating Emelie's 26th birthday and meanwhile awaiting the low. So far so good, we have taken all necessary precautions and are ready for the worst! The main is furled along the boom and we are doing 5-6 knots with one reefed headsail up. The wind is blowing from the south west around 20 knots. Cantare is balanced and monitor is steering. With a bit of luck this is what we'll have. After the bad luck we have had the last couple of days I think it is definitely time for some luck now! Hopefully the centre of the low will pass north of us and according to the weather files we downloaded this morning the low is approaching now and will last for about 12 hours. It looks like the low will have passed us around 0200 UTC tonight, we certainly have an interesting time ahead of us!

PS. Yesterday was really the lull before the storm and we therefore took the opportunity to start celebrating Emelie with pizza made out of scones, her favorite, and we also celebrated midway to the Azores with a bottle of champagne.

Happy Ascension Day! Love/FirstMate

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Day 15 - Bad Luck

Position: N 34° 55' W 057° 50' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 1421

As I've told you before our two plotters are broken and therefore we have borrowed a handheld GPS from Alan on Starfire, Emelie's boyfriend. In addition to that one we have a spare battery driven GPS in the grabbag. Yesterday the charger for Alan's GPS broke and now we are left with only one working GPS, and since it runs on batteries and consumes them in no time we can not have it on all the time. To steer we have to look at the compass. The problem with that is how small the numbers are, I have good eyesight and didn't think about that when I bought it, but Catrine and Emelie on the other hand find it difficult to see where they are going. Most of the time they get it right, though. Yesterday I badly regretted not trying harder to find a third handheld GPS when the plotters broke, but we did look for one on Virgin Gorda and Gran Turk. What happens if our last GPS breaks down? We really hope that it does not. We keep it inside and turn it on every third hour to write down the position. If worst comes to worst we have a back up plan. We would have to trust Starfire, right now about 20 nm behind us, to find us with the help of our last known position and then guide us to the Azores or lend us another spare GPS.

One could think that would be enough bad luck for one day. But, I was getting ready for my new night watch when Catrine told us to get out in the cockpit. DuoGen's wind propeller was spinning franticly, the part that connects the propeller to the generator rod was broken again, making it possible for the propeller to spin with out resistance. It has happened before on Cuba, then a very nice man in the marina fixed it temporarily for us. We have been in contact with the manufacturer and they have sent a new part to the Azores free of charge. Nowadays they make it out of aluminium which is stronger that ours in plastic. Not having the wind generator spinning means a lot less power. The engine os our only other charger and we don't have that much diesel left. The fridge has been turned off, posts for the blog have to be handwritten first to minimize computer use, no Sex and the City and we have to use as little fresh water as possible since the watermaker is rather power consuming. We are almost close enough to the Azores to manage on the water we already have in the tanks. Our plan is to fill up some spare water tanks (plastic foldable) next time we run the engine and then stop using the watermaker.

Before I finished my watch I spotted the third problem, one of our main's travellers has disappeared, but I think we will manage quite alright without it. That's enough problems for one day, hell, that's enough for the rest of the trip. Now we could do with some luck.

Today the wind has decreased, from time to time we can hardly sail. The weather shifts very fast here, tomorrow we will have strong winds again as the low reaches us. These last days we have changed course, not going further north, maybe we can escape the worst wind. We will see…/ The Captain

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Day 14 - Whales!

Position: N 34° 54' W 059° 21' UTC 1755

Nautical miles left: 1493

Today when I went on my watch I was welcomed by an excited Maria. She had seen a whale during her watch! All of sudden when she was looking up she saw a big whale just 15 meters ahead of us (but her first thought was that it was a submarine). Maria steered Cantare a bit to the left of it and the whale didn't move until she was alongside it. She think it was a "Spermwhale" and its size was about the same size as Cantare! It's a bit scary that those big animals are lurking around in the Atlantic ocean - especially if they don't move out of the way for Cantare!

After just 15 minutes of my watch I felt that the wind was increasing drastically. I called Maria up again so that we could reef the main sale and take in some of the headsail. Maria checked the wind indicator and guess what it said - 50knots! That's a lot of wind. But my watch went well except from some big waves splashing over me and some cramp in my arm for pressing the steering wheel against the strong winds.

Very soon, maybe tonight, we will have 1450 distance left to the Azores, which means that we have made it half the way there. And it also means that we are changing our watches today and turning the clock two hours forward. So I will take Marias watch from 3-6, she will take 6-9, Emelie will have 9-12 and Sofia will take 12-3. Even though I now will get the worst watch it feels kind of nice. Half the way over the Atlantic is a moment to remember and the champagne is already in the freezer for this special occasion!

/Deckhand Catrine

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Day 13 - Another Crazy Night...Thunderstorm

Position: N 34° 39' W 061° 21' UTC 1840

Nautical miles left: 1591

Two days ago when I sat on my night watch and saw a star falling, I wished for more winds. That I have regretted a thousand times already. First we had our little misfortune with the sails the other day. Last night we had our second bad weather experience. I think that we all were a little bit tired after being up late the night before, cause all we seemed to do during the day was sleeping. Catrine made an impressive effort though and baked bread. Right now our breakfast is down to porridge or damp hard bread, so it was really welcomed. Usually we watch one or two episodes of Sex and the city during the evening, but not yesterday. We all went to bed early. Somewhere around 21.00, still half awake, still half asleep I could hear Sofia and Catrine discussing the lightening outside and whether it was getting closer or not. After a while I heard them unloosen the grab-bag and put the satellite phone in the oven. After that it was quite hard to go back to sleep, but since it seemed so cold outside the duvet I stayed in bed and tried to close my eyes. An hour past by and nothing seemed to happen and Catrine also went to bed. I could still hear Sofia walking on and of in the boat. I realized that I weren't going to be able to fall a sleep again so I decided to make Sofia company instead. The rain was pouring down outside so we sat down in the saloon. We counted seconds between the lightening and the thunderclap and it seemed to still be quite far away. I guess we were wrong. All of a sudden we heard the sails starting to flap. The wind direction had rapidly changed from SW to NE making it really hard for the monitor to understand what to do. We rushed out in to the cockpit and tried to un connect the monitor, by loosen a little screw on the steering wheel, but it seemed to be stuck. The thunderstorm seemed to get closer and closer for every second, and the wind picked up even more. The rain and waves seemed to take every chance to try and find it's way inside my sailing jacket and rubber boots making me soaking wet. We quickly decided that we had to try and disengage the ropes to the monitor instead. After what seemed like forever, with the rain lashing, boat being thrown from one side to the other and nothing but the lightening to light up the cockpit, we managed to get it of. My heart was now pounding faster and faster and I grabbed the steering wheel. Trying to steer the boat in to the wind so that we could reef the sails. Maria and Catrine had at this point waken up and Maria got out in the cockpit to give us a hand. When the sails were reefed Sofia went up one foredeck to sort out the sheets of the headsails. She then noticed that the headsail halyard had felled into the water and got caught in the Duogen (our water/wind generator that was in water mode). Once again we had to get up into the wind and try to pull the Duogen out of the water to untangle the halyard. Not as easy as it sounds when the boat is bouncing up and down in the waves. With good teamwork we somehow made it work anyway. Everything now seemed to be under control again, but we were still in the middle of the thunderstorm so we decided that both me and Sofia should stay up on watch. Maria and Catrine went down to try and get some sleep. Both still wet and cold me and Sofia took turns on the steering wheel. Since the wind still were blowing from a north-easterly direction we had to beat our way forward. Finally at around 2.00, the thunderstorm seemed to loosen it's grip on us, and we could see some stars in the sky. When we woke up Maria at around 3.00 the sky was starry, but we could still see the lightening in the distance. Me and Sofia had just went down in the cockpit and began to get out of our wet clothes when we heard Maria shouting from the cockpit. As if the thunderstorm wasn't enough our GPS had now decided to give in. Luckily we have borrowed a spare hand held GPS from my boyfriend that we will use from now on. Not a good night at all. A really crappy one actually. But we are all alright and now resting from last nights adventures, getting the boat in order again, steering easterly and trying to dry our clothes. Luckily it looks like we have at least 2 days now with calm weather before a low strikes us on Thursday. I guess it is going to be an other adventure to write about then. This time at least we will be prepared for it.

LOVE/ deckhand Emelie

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Day 12 - A Night full of Action

Position: N 34° 16' W 062° 46' UTC 2145

Nautical miles left: 1661

Did I say something about boring and slow night watches the other day? Maria's birthday didn't end quite as peaceful as we thought it would and I got an adventurous night watch ending up soaked wet with some bruises. After a late supper Maria and I discussed whether we should drop the extra headsail for the night or leave it up. The boat was balanced and we did good speed, but having to drop the sail and the spinnaker pole in the middle of the night if the wind would increase is a tricky maneuver that can be dangerous. Luckily, we decided to drop it at once. But it was already dark and the wind seemed suddenly to increase every minute and the disturbing waves grew bigger. Emelie and I was on foredeck trying to hand in the sail and struggled to get off the spinnaker pole. Maria was in cockpit to organize the sheets and a drowsy Catrine was called up on deck to grab the helm while we tried to solve the situation. The sheet was too tight for me to be able to get it of the attached pole but when Catrine head up to wind to loosen the forces the pole and the sail started moving uncontrollable creating other crazy forces. Emelie and I was forced to lay flat down on deck and I yelled at Emelie to seek protection in the cockpit. After having regained balance I eventually got off the pole from sheet. Finally we could drop the damn sail. Maria carefully dropped the spinnaker halyard while I tried to collected the headsail and prevent it from falling in the water and cause more devastating problems. Meanwhile Emelie was fighting the spinnaker pole and Catrine did her best at the helm. Sail down and halyard on the mast we dragged the sail to the cockpit and doing that I found myself close to man over board hanging in starboard cap shroud. I was secured with a safety harness from my life jacket to the jackstays on deck so if I would have lost my grip I would hopefully not have disappeared too far. However, even if the safety harness would have hold me it would be hard for the girls to get me over the rail and back to the boat. When I was on my way over board Maria just told me she was holding her breath back in cockpit. Falling over board is simply not an option onboard Cantare! But please don't worry back home, we had the situation under control and it was a good wake up call after some lazy sailing days without wind. Now we are prepared for a coming low that might hit us in the middle of next week! /First Mate

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Day 11 - My 26th Birthday

Yesterday around half past 9 am when Catrine asked me if I wasn't supposed to wake up, I told her that I wouldn't because I had decided to allow myself some extra time in bed since it was my birthday. For a short moment Catrine looked confused, then she laughed and told me that it was not, it was only the 7th of May. Hmm, she was right, sometime during the night I had mixed up the days. That's what happens on the Atlantic. This morning though, the 8th of May, it actually was my birthday, and when I started to stretch in my bed, awoken early by a chocolate smell the girls sang Happy Birthday for me. I was given hot chocolate to drink in the bed and a nice card that entitles me to a dinner when we get ashore, including desert of course. After breakfast the wind started to blow, not a lot but enough for us to hoist the sails. Our new secret weapon to get to the Azores faster and without running out of fuel is to hoist the small headsail separately with the spinnaker halyard and spread it to windward on one of the spinnaker poles, at the same time we have the normal headsail and the mainsail up. Right now we are broad reaching and the extra sail make us go about 1 knot faster, and it also makes Cantare more stable. It has been a sunny day which I have spend on deck enjoying the easy sailing. In the afternoon Sofia called us all to the cockpit where we had chocolate cake with Swedish flags and played a game. Now while I'm writing this my dinner whish is being carried out, pizza with tuna (tinned, no luck with the fishing yet) and pineapple. The wind is stronger now, we are doing a bit more than 6 knots, we are on the Atlantic Ocean in my favourite boat on my 26th birthday. What more can a girl ask for? A bit fewer Men of war maybe, swimming from the front of the boat to the back yesterday was thrilling, a bit like Russian roulette. We would like to thank all of you who answered Catrine's whish for more information about the strange animals called Man of war. Being very beautiful and interesting looking you want to pick them up and inspect them at a closer range, knowing the impossibility of this want makes them even more fascinating. How cute they are bobbing on the water around us! I would also like to thank all of you who have sent best wishes on the satellite phone this day when I became one year older and hopefully a tiny bit wiser. / The old Captain

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Friday Night's Entertainment - Naked Swim with Dolphins

When we had to start the engine and drop the sails due to zero wind and 2,0 knots speed some of us took the opportunity to go for a swim. I was the first one to throw myself in the freezing cold water (nowadays the water temperature is "only" around 24° C….) Immediately I got company by a group of dolphins that came rather close. Awesome and they made me quickly forget the unpleasant water temperature. Dolphins weren't the only creatures visible to us tonight, tuna fishes were also jumping around and at a safe distance the deadly Portuguese men of war were bobbing… At a safe distance, hm, at least that was what we thought until we read Harry's text about how long the tentacles can be, 165 feet!!!!! Luckily no one got burned, and since it is not every day you get the chance of taking a bath in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean you have to go for it! Thanks for all greetings to our sat phone, keep them coming, we love them! Have a nice weekend! /First Mate

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Day 10 - Wildlife at the Atlantic

Position: N 33° 02,8' W 066° 49,7' UTC 1845

Nautical miles left: 1876

This morning while we were having breakfast in the cockpit we got some nice company. A group of dolphins, maybe 10 or 15, were swimming around Cantare. It's really fascinating to watch these amazing creatures in their true element and not in an aquarium! (I was a bit against Maria and Sofia's adventure when they were swimming with them in a aquarium on Cuba since I think it's cruel to keep these intelligent animals looked up.) The dolphins kept diving up and down around Cantare, maybe because they were curious about us or maybe because they just thought it was fun. Anyhow I watched and enjoyed for the 5 minutes that it lasted and then all of the sudden they were gone. Maria managed to get a picture of one of the dolphins as you can see below, and she also took a picture of the funny jellyfish called Portuguese man of war which keeps popping up in the water around us. The first time I saw one of them I thought it was some plastic garbage floating around. But then I saw another one, and then another… So finally I realized that it had to be an animal. Looking them up in our fishing book doesn't give any information about them except their name and that they are very dangerous. So I thought that maybe one of our dear readers at home would help us google them!? And if you find some interesting information about them you can send a message about it to our satellite phone! (Not being able to google things during sailing is one thing I really miss.) To top the wildlife studies of for today, Emelie and Sofia also spotted a tuna jumping one and half meter up in the air. So right now Maria is preparing our fishing rod to catch one!

/Deckhand Catrine

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Day 9 - on the Night Shift (a great Caribbean song)

Position: N 32° 30,9' W 068° 25,7' UTC 2200

Nautical miles left: 1963

It's fascinating how nights can vary. When sailing across the Atlantic Ocean you get a lot of night watches to add to your CV. However, no night watch is like another night watch, they are all unique. Some nights are cold, rainy, boring, tiring, scary, busy, exhausting, slow, others are warm, funny, exciting, adventurous, romantic, beautiful, fast… The weather is the most important factor when it comes to deciding the outcome of a night watch. If the weather is good, that is if fair wind is filling the sails, the boat is balanced and making good speed a night has good potential of being a very pleasant one. If, one the other hand, the rain is pouring down, strong gale filling the sails too much and the boat is pounding in the big waves, you know before having climbed out your bunk that it is gonna be a tough night. But at least it is probably gonna be an adventurous and exciting night. (eh, of course I'm skipping the fact that you most certainly will be soaked wet and freezing cold by the end of the watch). But I must say I think I prefer an adventurous night to a night where absolutely nothing is happening, like last night. Yesterday night time basically stood still during my watch. No wind whatsoever, no boats, no dolphins, just myself and Mr. Yanmar (the engine) who without any luck tried to seduce me with his annoying sound. Eventually some stars started popping up on the sky but sadly I didn't see any stars falling and therefore I couldn't make a wish for a Prince Charming to come rescue me from Mr. Yanmar. But as I said nights vary, and the other night a motor vessel on collision course with me sort of made my night. Onboard Cantare we have a SeaMe, an active radar reflector sending out radar signals so larger vessels with radar can see our position. The motor vessel called me on the VHF, but even if it was just him and I on the big ocean it took some seconds before I realized he actually was calling on me. Now I made it sound like it was something extraordinary he calling me on the radio. Oh no, of course not, he just wanted to know where I was heading to plan how to give way for me, an ordinary question and simply a normal call. What made our friendly little VHF chat so nice was the fact that we are out on the Atlantic Ocean where you rarely see any other boats and hardly ever speaks to anybody else beside the crew. The presence of somebody else on a big sea when you thought you were alone is very uplifting and inspiring. The motor vessel gave way for me and his strong navigation lights were visible for me the rest of my night watch.

Anyone curious about what we were doing in Cuba? I have summarized our visit there and it is now published on the webpage of our insurance company Europeiska. You find the it on www.europeiska.se and there are even pictures! =) It's in Swedish though, but to our dear foreign readers I think Google translate will do just fine! Enjoy! Love/First Mate

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Day 8 - Same same

Day 8 - Same same

Position: N 31° 52,0' W 070° 17,5' UTC 2000

Nautical miles left: 2065

I am not even going to try and deny it, I am restless. That is what happens when a normally hyper active woman, puts herself in a situation like this. Sofia has been living the lazy sailing life for almost a year now and are a little bit more adapted. Still not totally though. I am starting to wonder if I ever will.

The last 24 hours have been just as calm as the days before. The wind has been blowing from various directions, died for a while, and the increased a little bit. Forcing us to hand steer and trimming the sails a lot. As soon as we have put the spinnaker pole up it is time to take it down again. The sun has decided to hide today and for the first day since we left, there has been no tanning and reading books on deck. This morning we downloaded a big weather file and it looks like we are going to get better winds in a few days. We were a little bit worried that we might have to make a stop in Bermuda to get more diesel, but as it looks now we can make it straight to the Acores. We just need to get a little bit further north and keep the highs south of us. I think that all of us onboard felt quite relieved.

LOVE / Deckhand Emelie

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Day 7 - A Week at Sea

Position: N 31° 04,8' W 072° 24,5' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 2184

Today is our 7th day at sea, the last two days our progress has been slow, around 100 nm in 24 hours. Weak wind from behind makes it difficult for Monitor to steer so a lot of the time we have been forced to hand steer. I actually enjoy it, standing behind the wheel constantly looking out at the blue sea or the shining moon and stars make me feel in better contact with the nature. If Monitor steers it's too easy to loose oneself in a book behind the spray hood. Although I personally don't get stressed by slow speed, we have two women aboard who get very restless by speed under 5 knots. It is not my sister, who like me spend the time dreaming about things that's possible to eat or do when we get ashore, or reading one book after another. Sofia and Emelie on the other hand are enormously restless, actually calculating how much longer it will take for us to reach the Azores with a half knot slower speed. They cheer each other on to try different sail trims and they have interesting theories about not going directly towards the Azores if we can achieve a better speed on another wind angle. I think it will take longer time when they change the sail trim and adjust the course constantly, but I let them do it anyway since I have no problem with an extra day at sea. This morning I helped them put up the spinnaker pool and spread the headsail, now we are sailing wing on wing and I do think we get better speed and stability like this. When I think about our last crossing I remember that they were restless like this after a week, then they settled down in the middle week and became restless again in the last week, let's see if it's the same this time. Right now it feels like the crossing is endless, more than 2000 nm left, but I know that in the end time speeds up and we will be on the Azores soon enough. By the way, we have now spotted a few Portuguese man of war, they look like translucent Calzone pizzas sailing on the waves, and are dangerous jelly-fishes. No more swimming in the ocean, but it is too cold anyway, only 24 degrees C. / The Captain

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Day 6 - It's getting cold!

Brr… you can tell that we are on our way home now… it's getting cold! Each day of our sailing towards east the temperature is decreasing. Now it's only 24 ° C in the water! And during my morning watch from 6-9 a.m. I wear my fleece pants and fleece top, rubber boats and neck warmer. Compared to my previous clothing during morning watches this is like a winter outfit, but still, I get a little cold sitting there in the cockpit.

Otherwise things are going well here onboard Cantare. We have adjusted ourselves into the long sailor life. That is, just relaxing. Being on watch is nowadays hardly any work. I haven't seen another boat around for two days and the windvane is priceless since it does most of the steering. So all I have to do on my watch is to every quarter stick my head up from the book that I'm reading in the cockpit, have a look around for any non likely boats appearing on the horizon, and check so that we are still on track. The 3 hours of my watches passes by fast and then it's 9 hours off again. We take turns in doing the cooking, so every fourth day I get to do the cooking. The meals are served between 4-5 p.m. and during the latest days we have combined it with some SATC watching (Sex And The City). It's really cozy! That's all the routines we have here onboard Cantare, otherwise we eat breakfast and snacks when we feel like it, takes naps every now and then, and enjoy ourselves in any way we prefer.

/Deckhand Catrine (Who prefers to sit in the sun reading good books!)

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Day 5 - Bugging Seaweed

Position: N 30° 01,7' W 075° 03,4' UTC 2300

Nautical miles left: 2334

It's another ordinary day on the North Atlantic Ocean. The wind has eased little and is now blowing from the south east, a more pleasant direction, making the life onboard way more convenient. We are making fairly good speed and are able to keep the set course towards the Azores. Please, let this last!!! The only thing bugging us at the moment is the seaweed floating on the surface, not only getting stuck in our fishing line, but unfortunately also in our water generator. Loads of seaweed end up in the propeller of the water generator, causing it heavily reducing its power generation. Therefore we have had to stop the boat to get rid of the seaweed and then run the engine a while to charge the batteries. The water generator is crucial for our power generation, we need power especially to run the water maker, being 4 onboard does not only mean less space, also higher water consumption. Of course we can charge the batteries with the engine, and leaving Cuba we had 170 l of fuel, but the diesel can't last forever (we can run the engine for 7 days and nights with the amount fuel we're carrying) and we need the diesel to be able escape potential storms and drive through calm weather. Hopefully, we will soon be off this bugging seaweed area! Until then we are enjoying lazy sailing with the sun shining from a clear blue sky! /First Mate (who wishes the lazy sailing was little faster…:-))

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Day 4 - Climbing around

Position: N 29° 02,1' W 077° 24,6' UTC 1930

Nautical miles left: 2471

I am now back on Cantare. Ready for new adventures, new challenges and more fun. Except for two short meetings, one in St. Martin and one in the BVIs, I haven't seen the girls since December. It feels so good to be back.

Since yesterday when we turned east just after Bahamas, the life her onboard Cantare has been a little bit less pleasant than the first days. We have had the winds and the waves against us and have been beating our way towards the Azores. This means that Cantare has been leaning over and bouncing a lot. Making even the simplest things like going to toilet or preparing dinner quite hard. I think that all four of us got a little bit fed up with climbing around in the boat. Luckily during the morning the winds have now started to turn south, making it so much more comfortable onboard Cantare. Hoping to get a god day of sun and sailing. /Deckhand Emelie

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