We left Ponta Delgada at 5pm on Monday. Checking out of the Azores with our next port specified as Falmouth - felt more momentous and final than the usual bureaucratic exit procedure.
Though exciting to head-off with the UK as the next destination, my enthusiasm was tempered by the weather charts which showed a succession of lows crossing the north Atlantic indicating "variable" winds for the 1200 miles passage home.
I'd promised Matt whale and dolphin sightings and a selection of freshly caught fish. The whale sighting didn't seem too much of a stretch with the daily whale watching boats reporting sightings of a variety of cetaceans including sperm whales. It looked as though I'd be able to keep my promise when a school of dolphins joined us as we rounded the western end of Sao Miguel. Since then despite Matt's dedicated scanning of the horizon not a single spout has been spotted. The fishing is as bad, we've two lines deployed without a bite, though our lures look enticing to the storm petrels requiring us to rapidly bring them in when one shows a more than healthy interest.
As ever food is a prime concern. Matt raised the cooking game with roast chicken on the first night, though he had to hand-over responsibility to the sous-chef when the sloppy motion meant he excused himself from the galley and reverted to whale spotting. Today in the absence of fresh sea-food we've started on cured leg of ham I procured in Spain. We're not going to starve - as usual it's a race to eat the fresh fruit and veg before it goes off - though it would be great to have at least one final fresh fish...
Position @ 12:00 29/7/09: N 40deg 30' W24deg 00'
Distance to Falmouth: 981