No news from the bearded trio but there is, apparently, a hole in Iridium coverage

The e-mail from Firefly has been silent for the last two days. But the word on the street is that in mid-Atlantic, 300 – 400 miles from Horta, there is, at the moment, a gap in Iridium coverage. And as all of the bearded trio’s comms are via Iridium it would explain the silence.

I flew into Horta, on the island of Faial, yesterday, partly to greet Firefly when she arrives and partly to talk to the crews on ARC Europe, the rally organised by World Cruising Club, the ARC organisers, which goes from Antigua and Florida to Bermuda and then the Azores and which is sponsored by Yachting World. From here, after a cruise in the islands, the fleet splits with half going to the Med and the other half to northern Europe.

When the beards arrive Duncan and Ross, aka beards 2 and 3, have to leave to return to work and so-called reality whilst Stewart (beard 1) and I (unbearded) will be joined by Robert (would you believe, also bearded) for a cruise of the islands. We will be aiming for Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel, where I have been twice before, once singlehanded in 1975 and then twohanded in 1979 on the Azores and Back Race, to meet this year’s AZAB fleet. From whence I have to leave (work and so-called reality) and another beard (none other than my former colleague James Jermain) joins for the sail back to Lymington. I suspect I’ll be hiring a high powered vacuum cleaner when they arrive.