Back to work - Riccardo
09 January 2012 | North Atlantic
Picture: Whale tail, spotted from aboard Mrs. Marietta
It's after midnight by whichever time zone affects us and while I need to get some sleep I am also aware of the necessity to keep all our followers informed of the status quo of our voyage. We live in an era of rapid information exchange but sometimes we need to be discreet with the handling of that flow so as not to be intrusive on the effects of each other.
It might seem idyllic to be anchored in such a remote and almost exotic place such as Cabo Verde but we have needed to achieve a lot and have also experienced much over the past couple of days that has affected our lives. On the surface we have done a lot of work on and around the boat in preparation for the next leg of the adventure.
I always regard Cabo Verde as being the half way mark of the voyage from Cape Town to any Mediterranean destination. It may not be precise in terms of distance traveled and still to go but the total voyage is split in two by the sailing that takes place. From our beginning in Cape Town we have predominantly following winds in the South Atlantic that allows the boat to move along with wind and wave in unison, surging ahead with the rise and fall of the swell and the sails billowing out whilst we run before the wind. After crossing the ITCZ we have the wind and wave patterns from ahead and have to work hard to gain precious miles beating to windward. On one tack many miles can be gained but hen on the next tack the best course can be as much as at right angles to that which is desired so it becomes a game of two steps forward and one step back.
To achieve this effectively we need the boat in the best condition possible and to this end we have worked for the past two days. The mast and rigging has been checked thoroughly. At one time we had both Bellomino and Vittorio aloft simultaneously doing the necessary work. A full inspection of the engine room has been done ensuring that all oil levels are correct as well the various mountings and hoses being checked for tightness and leaks. One of the water makers needed a lot of attention so we are also confident of having adequate fresh water as needed.
At the end of the to do list was the filling of our fuel tanks, ordering the fuel early this morning it was promised for delivery mid afternoon but island time is island time and the truck arrived much later. The filling nozzle was too large for the deck fitting so was changed for a smaller one but this regrettably did not have a trigger operated valve. In the process of starting the pump on the truck there was so much pressure that we ended up with a virtual geyser spewing fuel back out of the filling pipe and onto the deck. For the first time ever I have had fuel all over myself and the deck. Fortunately we had taken the precaution of having a water hose handy and I was able to wash my eyes out swiftly.
We wanted to depart right after refueling but with the need to extensively clean the deck we made our way back to the anchoring area where Bellomino and Enzo toiled until well after dark with the task.
We are now ready to depart early in the morning but are all aware that we will not be continuing as we arrived. Sadly we said farewell to Paulo and Riccardo who have returned home. Paulo was not well for a few days and felt it prudent not to risk the situation any further. With the delays experienced in Cape Town Riccardo was running out of time on his leave of absence from work and as such needed to get back to work.
I shared my watches with both of them and will miss their company. Also I trust that you will all understand my motives for not saying anything too soon out of respect for their personal needs.
This afternoon I spent a lot of time gathering fresh weather and synoptic information for our route ahead.
So I say BUONO NOTTE from the anchorage here in Praia for in the morning we will sail on.