Back to Antigua, on to Azores
May 2nd - May 27th
After Dominica there was some hectic sailing and goodbyes. First, we headed to Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe to drop off Annick. Then hot-footed it to Jolly Harbour as Lucy and Jack's flight from Antigua was only 48 hours later. Fortunately all went to plan and, once Chris had arrived, provisioning and final checks were completed, then we were ready to head back across the Atlantic.
I had received strong, definite advice from experienced Atlantic sailors EITHER to go straight for the Azores OR to go via Bermuda. Not helpful! Having done it once, my conclusion is that there is no right answer. It depends on the forecast. Our departure day coincided with a week of strong, but not too strong, south easterlies between Antigua and Bermuda. Decision made.
We had intended to spend some days in Bermuda. But, on arrival, we checked the weather and there was a favourable forecast for at least 4 days of good wind to take us north east. hence the briefest of stays in Bermuda.
I had some trepidation about the leg from Bermuda to Azores. Two sailors had told me they had encountered their worst storms ever during this crossing, one only 70nm from Horta. Those were before the days of PredictWind and satellite phones. We also encountered a big low appearing out of nowhere. But with the forecast and weather routing, coupled with a relatively nimble Skyfall, we managed to have some fantastic sailing and arrived in Horta with only briefly having to put in a second reef (most of the time we had full sail and also used the Code 0)
Horta is where sailors go, but do not ask me why. We headed to Angra do Heroismo where there was space, friendly people and a UNESCO world heritage site. Highly recommended