Sunday, December 18, 2016

At sea

IIt is Day 2 of our passage to the Cape Verde Islands. The winds have been kind to us so far ( touch wood) and we have not had anything that would even resemble a headwind. Purely by chance we sailed when the moon was approaching it's fullest. Last night it was brightly shining for the whole night. When the sun set there it was bright and beautiful in the eastern sky and as I watched it set on the western horizon this morning the rosy peach shimmer of dawn touched the eastern sky as we sailed on a broad reach at about 6 knots. Life does not get too much better than this!  
Last night we were making a sail change when there was a big splash beside the boat. Barry had been cranking in the sail making a lot of noise and there was a big sploosh. We both saw a large fish shaped figure dart away from the boat. It could have been a dolphin, but once they arrive by the boat they usually stay for a few minutes. I didn't hear any telltale breath exhalations either so I don't think it was a marine mammal of any sort.  I guess it will alway remain a mystery, hmmmm.

Day 4
We are roaring along at a great rate. The wind is just as it was predicted, from the port quarter and over 15 knots. Our anonometer is broken so we cannot tell exactly how much wind there is but at the moment we are tearing along at over 6 knots with only the staysail and a triple reefed main. The seas have gradually increased so they are over 2 meters now but the boat is handling them well, although the motion is rather boisterous. We have made almost 150 miles the last two days so if all goes well, touch wood, we should arrive in Mindelo the capital of Sao Vicente, one of the Cape Verde  Islands on Saturday, Dec. 17.
We just took the staysail down and put up the storm staysail, a smart move as the wind is supposed to increase tomorrow. It was good to do it before dark, the ride is smoother and although we may have lost a little speed, I think we will still make our 150 a day!! Fajitas for supper, I had to strap myself in, so I wouldn't be thrown around the galley.  In my humble opinion this is better than bumbling along at 2.5 or 3 knots. 
The triple reef makes the main very small and leaves a lot of room at the top of the mast. 


Shrieking, howling, moaning

Waves building 

Rolling, pitching, yawing 



Day 6

Arrived in Mindelo at 1300 hours. The 794nm trip took us 5 days and 21 hours for an average speed of 5.6 knots with only 2 hours on the engine, 1 hour motoring to get out of the wind shadow of Hierro and the rest getting into and out of the anchorages. The waves on this trip were equal or larger than the ones from Suwarro to American Samoa. Our storm staysail has had little use over the years but proved it's worth on this trip.  The motion  on the boat was rolly but not intolerable and because the waves were from behind the beam we were not slamming around like we would have been if the wind had been on the nose. All in all a good fast trip!! Now to get out those Christmas decorations and see about buying a turkey. 

Our first sight of the Cape Verde Islands, they don't look so green.