I feel a little like a hapless spokesman announcing poor quarterly results: "A disappointing quarter but we're confident we'll be back on track soon...". So it is with the last 24 hours' progress; a mere 84 miles to show for my efforts. The wind remained weak for most of the day and when it finally increased overnight it backed so despite being close-hauled I made more progress SW toward Madeira than the Azores.
The outlook's improved today with the wind veering northwards and increasing; I'm once again able to lay a course for the Azores at a reasonable speed, though the waves have started to build again, which tempers progress. It should be straightforward sailing from now on, I've passed all sea-mount obstacles and now just have 500+ miles of clear Atlantic between me and my landfall. The exciting event today was catching my first fish for months. A reasonable sized tuna. Most of it's disappeared already as steaks and "poisson cru" - what a treat.
I'm missing not having a radio net, I've been trying to pick up the BBC World Service, but the information I have is that they've stopped shortwave transmission to Europe, so am having to rely on broadcasts intended for the Middle East and Africa. Not ideal; as I head further west the signal becomes weaker. Today I gave up and went in search of any English language broadcasts. The best I could come up with was English language service of Radio China International, broadcasting "live from Beijing". Sign of the times?
13:00 GMT, 16/07/09: N35deg 30' W13deg 51'
Distance to Azores 584
Daily run: 84.