Remote sailblogs update
05 December 2013 | Atlantic D1-8
Gotta Love Boats ¬- that is the mantra we keep reminding each other, as we face each obstical that this life afloat throws at us.
We are now on day 8 after leaving Gomera in the Canaries. Our first day out even though there was not a lot of wind we managed to sail all night and day, the highlight being when we caught a large dolphin fish. Largest catch to date and made for a lovely fresh dinner for everyone.
The second day out we had no wind and ended up doing some motoring in the sunshine with flat seas. Decided to go for boat speed and enjoyed the 1 knot current and winds, when they come up, off the African coast. On my watch I had a first when a dolphin breached off the port bow, normally they don't come totally out of the water.
By day three the wind was still all over the place, but by following it around we were able to sail all day, however it was overcast and quite cool. By this time I had had two days out of the galley, a rarity for me as Russ does not cook. Kim, Jim and myself are taking turns being on for the day (galley slave) and as there are five of us on board it means that when we are galley slave we have a day off watch ¬- works well for me ?
Not much fun when I was on the 9 ¬- 12 evening watch as it was also so dark you could not see the horizon. However I did have a magical half hour when the phosphorescence was incredible, normally it just follows us behind the two hulls or alongside the rear of the boat, but it was everywhere, off the bow, sides, behind and not just close by, but far away too. There were masses of flashes, small, big, bright and then glowing. Sometimes it seemed as if another boat was near by, but it was just the phosphorescence in the distance. A very cool experience.
Day four was more of the same winds, but it was also cold and wet. We celebrated my brother's birthday in the evening with roast lamb. We have not been eating meat as Jim is vegetarian, but this is a tradition on board Ta-b and we even finished up with chocolate brownies and candles.
The next day the wind was a bit better at 7.5 knots and we were making 5 knots which was not bad. But it was not a good day. We had a problem with our new generator and it did not look like an easy fix, even with all the spare parts we had bought with it. We do all our cooking, water making and laundry using it so, as Russ says, it is our life's blood. On top of that my computer decided to take a sad too, thank goodness before we left we made sure that we got Russell's working with the programs we need as backup.
By day six we had made the decision to head for Mindelo in the Cape Verdes islands. We were praying that our generator people would come up with a solution, but we are now having to wait until Barbados before we can get it fixed. However the four whales that we saw cheered us up as we had only seen dolphins so far. Have seen more of them since, quite the site, Cam nearly ran over a couple ? but we always stay well clear.
We got into Mindelo on day seven having motored for two days. We enjoyed catching up with our friends on Van Kedisi who have had autopilot problems; which are now luckily fixed. It was a quick 24 hour turn around; while we searched out a decent camping stove (we had been using a little emergency one we have), filled up with water and fuel, cleaned up the boat and brought fresh provisions. Shopping however was very limited and expensive. The place reminded us of the windward islands in the Caribbean.
Since leaving Mindelo the winds have been light and we have had to motor for ten hours, however the trades look like they may start tomorrow and we are currently sailing in 8.5 knots and making 5 knots over the ground. We will be a lot happier when they settle in as we really want to be in Barbados by 20 December for our kids arrival. Will post another blog in about a week and in the meantime hopefully you will have been able to follow us on winlink's position map under VA7JHP. Love to you all J&R