The North Atlantic
Practically Perfect

The Last Leg

We are less than 600 miles from Horta, heading 82 True directly to the island of Flores, the northernmost island in the Azores. From there, it's just 135 miles to Horta, where we will check in and stay on the dock a few days. Unless things have changed since our edition of the cruising guide the marina is reasonably priced and water is free. Many of you know how much it pains me to say that EW was right and we have nearly emptied our water tanks. Today is a shower day, but I'm not getting a shower. We do have 30 gallons in jerry jugs on deck and 6 gallons of drinking water down below, so we have plenty of water for a week, as long as we conserve. No more bucket laundry and perhaps only one more shower before we land. Since we don't want to offend the officials, that shower will be on our last day at sea. (Shudder)

We certainly have enough provisions and could go back across the Atlantic right now except for our lack of water. I haven't followed all of my meal plans, but have enjoyed reading recipe books and trying new things. Before we left St. Thomas, I was gifted a copy of "The Best of People and Food" edited by Barbara Davis. The title is from the "People and Food" column in Cruising World, and this book is a compilation of recipes released in 1983. As you may imagine, things have changed since then when most cruisers didn't have refrigeration, margarine and Vienna sausages were considered real food, and recipes for things such as ceviche suggested that you not tell your friends you have served them raw fish until they have tried it and liked it.

The book, with the stories and suggestions from each contributor is a delight. Last night I made Schooner Rice -- with kielbasa instead of (ugh) Vienna sausages -- and EW was delighted. I think I'll try Holding Ground Mud Cake this week. One can't go wrong with chocolate.

We've started a list on things to fix, adjust, purchase; what worked and what didn't. EW has quite a long list and he has no idea how many things I may add, but La Luna has done very well. I say this despite the fact that the fog horn/loud hailer broke off the mast this morning. We have no idea why it chose to commit suicide at sea, but that's the way it goes. Thankfully, it completed its mission and I didn't have to go up and cut it down. We are philosophical in that though La Luna is a 29 year old boat, she was made to cross oceans, and we think she is delighted to be here. If she chooses to make a small sacrifice to Poseidon, who are we to question it?

I assume there are "propagation issues" with SSB radio this week, as I have found it much more difficult to get an open channel. When I do get one, receiving takes so long that I have been cut off before it's complete. My apologies to those who are awaiting personal emails as I know some things are still in my in box ready to be sent to my laptop.

We are currently at 38 53.3 North and 40 08.52 West. It's a beautiful day at sea. We have surely been blessed by incredibly good weather. As EW has said, "We've done really well." EW is happy, I am happy and La Luna is happy.

We stink, though.

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