Our perceived weather window was more ajar than open and although the German yacht ‘Cerce’ left as planned, Alegria and Hejira chose to spend the night in the marina and leave at first light. In theory, to leave after a good night’s sleep is a fine plan but the surge into the marina made Hejira noisily snatch at her mooring warps and Barry had his worst ever night’s sleep in the forecabin.

The delay gave us the opportunity to share a meal with the crew of Alegria, a French father with his two adult sons. The Father is a retired police helicopter pilot and I was delighted that he didn’t speak any English and had to endure my rusty French. Usually my victims have a better grasp of English than my clumsy French which generally means we inevitably default to speaking English which does not really help me. I do so enjoy speaking a foreign language (that makes it sound as though I have a grasp of several – I do not!) and I really must try to have regular conversations in French. Maybe I should strike a pact with my French Canadian sister-in-law, Lynn that we only communicate in French from now on – that will result in short conversations!

The dying remnants of the phone signal as we left Terceira enabled me to receive a message from Ollie, telling me that he had posted a video of his (sailing) leg. I have not seen it yet and hope to get a signal off Ushant in about a week’s time to watch it. www.youtube.com Bermuda to Faial 2016. He also gives the following code – can’t comment on how or if it works……

Notable on an otherwise uneventful day of motoring in insufficient wind to sail, was the closest sighting yet of a whale. It surfaced alongside, blowing and rolling down so the small fin followed the long back as the body arched out of the water, almost within touching distance. From the trajectory, it must have passed under the yacht so it was a very close shave indeed.

It was very gratifying to witness water pumping out of the fresh water tank overflow and this is the first time since leaving the UK over a year ago that the watermaker has worked as intended. In fact, the only issue with ‘kit’ aboard Hejira are the doubts about the Iridium system as I blocked the automatic payment of the disputed bill for May of £6106.90 and made a payment of £200 instead, this being the limit of what I would have expected. I am hoping that the system will not be disconnected as I rely on it for my weather forecasting at sea and, currently it still seems to be working. The whole nightmare has been very stressful and detracted from the pleasure that I should have derived from our adventure.

Peter cooked a fine Spag Bol before we started our watches and we adjusted our clocks to British time, UTC+1. I now realise that this was very premature as it means that Barry has his late watch almost entirely in the light while my early watch is nearly completely dark.

Peter writes:-

The first day of the last leg has been a mixed one, with motoring all day & night but blue skies and a bit of wild-life. A large Sperm Whale emerged no more than 10 metres away. A great sight, but too quick to get the camera. Plenty of dolphins also appeared.

We have been in sight of our French friends since leaving Angra at 0645. They are heading for La Coruna and our course is taking us just north for Ushant so we will soon diverge.