08 May 2005, 43 38' N, 20 27'W
I've learned a lot about seafaring during the last few weeks. The latest lesson is that you can't go where the weather doesn't want you to go. Right now, it seems the weather would prefer us to go to Iceland rather than home. We beg to differ. So, after 6 days at sea, we're turning around and going back to the Azores to wait for more favourable conditions.
Unusual weather systems have generated strong easterly winds throughout the northeast Atlantic. We've been battling upwind since we left the Azores, hoping for a change. But the forecast isn't improving, and if we continue battling the easterlies we run the risk of ending up a) in Iceland, and b) very hungry.
In the words of Ran Fiennes, better a live donkey than a dead (or very hungry) lion, so we're taking the prudent course of action. Hello again, Azores.
Still due to be inter4viewed live on the BBC Radio Solent breakfast show on 11 May. Listen in then for the latest!
03 May 2005, North of the Azores
Re-toxed and re-provisioned after a week in the Azores, we're now back at sea, back on watch rota, and back on the wagon.
This will be the final leg in Russ Evans's circumnavigation of the globe, the first ever in a Sigma 38 yacht. He set out from the Hamble nearly two years ago. He's looking good for a successful round-trip, but it ain´t over 'til it's over, so he won't be relaxing until Steamy Windows is safely moored up back in her home port and her crew has made it to shore.
I'll be doing my second interview with Julian Clegg of BBC Radio Solent on 11 May via satphone. By then we should have a good idea of when we will make landfall. We also have a map on Steamy´s website - for our latest position click here. From November I'm going to have a map like this on my website too, showing a small blob slowly making her way across the Atlantic...
02 May 2005, The Azores
The scent of pine needles rose from the cobbles as the religious procession passed somberly by, and mingled with the smell of hot dogs from the fast food stands thronging the town square. Ponta Delgado is in fiesta mode, and the sacred and profane rub shoulders together quite happily.
It's been a fun stopover in the Azores. We arrived at the same time as a few other crews who have now become good friends. We've explored the island and bathed in natural hot springs in a pool surrounded by lush green fronds and mosses. And we've thoroughly checked out the local bars, restaurants and nightlife.
But now I'm itching to move on. The weather is becoming more favourable, and after filling up on cooking gas and picking up a few fresh provisions tomorrow morning, we should be on our way again, on the last leg of Steamy Windows journey back to the UK.
I'm scheduled to do my second radio interview with BBC Radio Solent on 11 May, live on the breakfast show via satphone. By then we should have a fair idea of when we will arrive in Southampton. I'll also post an update to my website nearer to the time. All welcome to come and say hi and buy Russ a well-earned drink to celebrate the completion of his two-year circumnavigation.
29 Apr 2005, Ponta Delgado, Azores
During my 11 years as a management consultant and project manager, I used to be afraid to ask dumb questions, and as a result caused myself huge amounts of stress by having to pretend that I understood things when I didn´t have a clue. Maybe I´ve gone too far the other way now...
My poor long-suffering crewmates on board Steamy have had to put up with what Morgan calls my Roz-isms, i.e. questions that only an idiot landlubber would ask. But hey, I´m here to learn, the best way to do that is to ask lots of questions. We all have to start somewhere. Better to appear an ignoramus now, and emerge better-informed from the experience, than to do an even dumber thing and set out in November still an ocean-going ignoramus...