3rd Report from TANIWANI’s Summer 2002 Cruise:
Today is Thursday the 4th of July; Taniwani’s
position is some 380 miles NE of the Azores Islands at 42-09N and 21-23 W. Since the last report, which we sent from an island
called Inishbofin, about half way down the Irish west coast, we had only had one
Since Dominic had to fly out of Cork last Friday, we had to be at
our last Irish calling point at the latest by Thursday evening. Our last stop in
Ireland was planned to be in Castletown in Bantry Bay, a busy fishing harbor
well sheltered behind a five-mile long island called Bere Island.
We decided to take this 150 miles stretch in one go,
especially since for the first time this year we wouldn’t have to beat into
the wind. Westerly winds around force 6 provided for a fast dash down the
remaining Irish west coast. We missed at least two nice places that I had
planned to visit, but given that we lost much time at the beginning, we hardly
had better options.
So we left Inishbofin last Wednesday around lunchtime
and surfed through the night hardly doing less than 8 knots for most of the run.
We anchored in Castletown Thursday morning, but found the anchoring space for
yachts very narrow and the busy harbor quite noisy. It didn’t take long and we
left for a tiny marina in Lawrence Cove for miles away on Bere Island. In the
evening we took our dinghy, loaded with five people the four miles to town for
dinner. We arrived slightly wet for a very nice dinner. Later in the evening we
celebrated Felix’ 17th birthday.
The next morning Dominic took off early, first by
ferry across to the mainland and then by bus. We had planned to stay in Bantry
Bay until at least Monday, before leaving for the Azores, but studying the
weather situation we should have left right on Friday, before some series of
depressions was expected to move in. We needed the Friday to stock and prepare
the boat, so finally left Saturday around 11am.
chart inset to the right shows our midnight positions; the last circle is our current
position, the first marks the starting point.
Until Saturday evening we had the expected strong NW
winds and we made fast progress. Later in the afternoon the Irish coast guard
gave out gale warnings for the entire Irish west coast. We expected that but
also hoped to be far enough south by the time the depressions come in.
This approach worked, sort of. We got a reduced
version of the gales, but since the winds were mostly SW to W, we couldn’t lay
course to our destination. The result: All Sunday, all Monday and all Tuesday we
were close hauled, beating into force 6 or force 7. Not ideal cruising
conditions, but it hardened the crew and brought out a few more things to
improve or repair on the boat.
Our boat sails extremely well to windward. At it’s
worst we had 30 to 35 knots of true wind, a substantially reefed mainsail and a
somewhat reefed cutter stay sail and we would still go with 7 knots into the big
waves doing about 60 degrees to the wind according to GPS. That is great, but
extremely wet. Taniwani doesn’t crash into the waves, but the bow seems to
drill through. Works well, but sends huge loads of water down along the decks.
With the still not found leakage of the sail locker, we had the bilge pump cycle
several hundred times. Another smaller point of water ingress was found to be
the engine room air extractor hose that has its exit on the cockpit coaming.
Normally foredeck work isn’t required on our boat,
since all sail handling can be done from the cockpit. However the foremost block
of the cutter stay furling line broke off and also damaged the furling drum
cover, so that I had to go fix it. Despite the highly advertised Musto Offshore
clothing I was soaked afterwards, but air and water are getting warmer as we
Yesterday was the first decent day and we can since
easily lay the course to Horta, our destination. The wind started veering as
promised and than weakened sufficiently to sail with the Genoa since last
afternoon. At times it so weak that we add a bit of engine power, also to charge
During the first, wild sailing days, we used the
generator, not the main engine to top up batteries, but the generator failed in
a strange way and remains in idle speed when started. Now that it is getting
smoother on board, I might look into the problem.
Last evening, we felt good enough to install the
cockpit table and have dinner in the cockpit. Unfortunately a rouge wave rocked
us exactly when Beate was trying to bring some food up the companionway, she
fell and bruised herself badly above the hip. Still hurting, but seems otherwise not
I’ll have this report go out via short wave today,
so no pictures. At our current location, short-wave has been working better for data transmission than
has Iridium, which seems fine for voice, but get lots of time out errors on
We are loading weather routing files from a server in
France that is maintained (or not) by the makers of the MaxSea software. Works
great, except that when the server goes down on the weekend, nobody bothers to
bring it back up before sometime Monday.
Off course it was the weekend we started, that the
server had these problems again. We just called my father for some more weather
information on Monday and got land assistance since.
In the end we didn’t have much choice other than
staying close to the wind until it veers and then sail for our destination.
Before I forget it, many thanks from the crew to those
who supplied us with Iridium SMS updates on the Germany - Brazil soccer game.
We expect to arrive in Horta sometime later on
Best wishes from the Crew of Taniwani