Boating & Biking Adventures

Category: Cabo Verde Page 2 of 7

E to W Atlantic Crossing – Logblog 7

It is close to midnight and we are running 6+kn straight line to our waypoint set at the southern tip of Martinique. Sometime earlier today we started the downhill part of this passage, means we have done more than half of the total distance between Cabo Verde and Martinque. It took us seven days and, based on the latest weather forecast and route planning, we are now expecting to arrive 29th December 2022 at Marina Le Marin, where we have a confirmed reservation in the marina starting exactly on that day. Still a long way to enjoy but let’s see.

It was another relaxed bluewater curising day in perfect trade wind conditions with a typical sunset.

Fair winds…

E to W Atlantic Crossing – Logblog 6

The transmission over the HF Radio using Pactor works fine on this journey so far. On the previous leg from Canary Islands to Cabo Verde I struggled a bit first to get connection at all and then to get some reasonable speed for transmitting/receiving the data. Therefore I will keep trying to post some small photos, which will then be readdressed in proper resolution once having a proper WiFi connection.
I have used three connection points so far for the communication. Obviously the Swiss HB9AK is one of them and very often the best. In the initial phase of the journey the French F5ZFX also worked fine and surprisingly fast. Recently we got connection via Barbados 8P6BWS reasonably performing. We did not manage to connect via Kanada on node VE1YZ yet, which shall not be forgotten as it also helped me out on various occasions in the past. From the propagation point of view I am getting a better feeling on time and frequency to be used for good connections. Before sunrise local time on 10 and 14 Mhz worked up to now quite well. We will therefore focus on those parameters trying to include a photo now and then into the transmissions.
We are just getting a mini squall and the lady is asking for some attention…
Fair winds…

E to W Atlantic Crossing – Logblog 5

While writing these lines, the clocks are somewhere between early lunch and early afternoon, depending which time zone you refer to. Some clocks onboard are set to UTC (14:39) for the alarm to remind me on the radio talks with Jan from SY Sutje, Just now we moved from Frenando de Noronha Time (12:39) to French Guiana Time (11:39) being the actual local time we are in. Somewhere in between sits Cabo Verde (13:39) becoming less relevant after almost one week on passage. You wonder what it matters. Not too much, I think, as long as I don’t miss my radio talk and we eat and sleep as desired. Works well. Time seems to have become an endless resource for the moment. Obviously it is not and I am so glad we are out here on the ocean doing what we are doing right now! It took long long time to get here, that’s for sure.
Looking at time from a different aspect, these ocean passages are ambivalent and splitting views among bluewater sailors. Some just want to minimize the passage duration and arrive, get over it. All sails up! The number of days and average speed are more relevant than wear and tear to crew and boat besides comfort. Others don’t care how long it takes, as long as it is comfortable and enjoyable. They would not start the engine, if the wind calms down, the sea becomes flat and the average speed drops below hull speed. If in comfort, their focus will even more move towards enjoying the sea. I had the opportunity to mingle with both type of sailors feeding my mind and position on this.
Clearly, we want to sail in comfort. Therefore our speed is driven by comfort. It has always been like this, since we sail. We dedicated speed to the jobs and comfort took over the moment stepping onboard. It has paid back very well for us until now.
Once the comfort at sea is gone, time becomes a totally different perspective and ranking.
Fair winds…

E to W Atlantic Crossing – Logblog 4

After five days at sea it was time to take a shower. I allowed myself two liters of tap water for that and waived the idea on a salt water pre-wash followed by a sweet-water rinse afterwards. On previous shorter passages I enjoyed the daily showers in the early evening hours but this one is different with respect to water and electricity, both being interlinked with each other.
We need power to produce electricity and water, which is normally generated by the Fischer-Panda Generator. As mentioned earlier, this animal started to refuse producing AC at 230V higher than 2.5kW. Below that, it works fine. The nominal rating of the generator is 6.5kW. The watermaker is asking for 3.6kW at full production, which is 130l per hour. In other words, we are not able to produce water at nominal flow at the moment. 50l per hour seems to be possible but at lower water quality. After some checks suggested over the phone by YEH in Glückstadt (excellent service support) we concluded to replace the capacitors as next step, which Susan brought into Mindelo in her luggage. BUT, when the local technician came to have a look into the engine room, it appeared to me, that he had difficutlies to determine between the ships engine and the generator. I could have guided him through the process of finding the capacitors but finally decided to live with 2.5kW for the moment not being able to produce water on this passage. Long story ending in a two liter shower after five days at sea and a Fischer-Panda authorized service workshop waiting for us at the othe side of the pond to fix this issue properly.
We have more than sufficient water and electricity but it is a good reminder, that these resources are limited and consumped with prudence, not only on a sailing boat at sea.
From last evening wind and sea state picked up a little bit and we are back to 6+kn on the log at 14-17kn true wind speed, precisely as forecasted. The lady is back at her comfort speed with a happy crew being more and more able to enjoy each mile of this passage.
Fair winds…

E to W Atlantic Crossing – Logblog 3

...wishing you all a contemplative 4th Advent...

E to W Atlantic Crossing – Logblog 2

It is 4:30am and I have just taken over the watch from Susan, when she mentioned a strange noise. It was different to the creaky sound coming from the interior furnishing of the boat, which synchronises with the rythm of the waves and boats’ heeling and you simply ignore after a while.

While taking a closer look with the headlamp, I found a flying fish on the cockpit floor fighting for his life. These poor looking creatures leave a bit of a mess with descaling after landing and oozing some mucus while also spreading some stinky smell. I don’t like them, hardly accept them outside the cockpit but get annoyed, if they come too close. On the photo, which I will add once we have WiFi again, you can see the flying wings still foldet out, trying to take off again, but no chance.

Once the wings are folded in, you know, this creature will not thrash around anymore once you pick it up and throw it back into their living environment, now becoming their graveyard. The whole process from flip to fold in takes around one minute, I would guess. I have a flexible gripper arm, about 90cm long, which helps me often to fish fallen things out of hidden places in the boat they have fallen in while doing boat work. Very useful tool, also in terms of getting rid of flying fish without touching them at all.

There is also some traffic out here again. This time not fishing boats but one commercial vessel passing by heading east and, believe it or not, SY Geronimo (MMSI 244620501) sailing along in 4nm distance north from us heading west.

Visibility is good, so we can also see their navigational lights clearly. Obviously with 20m length they are faster than us and will get sooner to a cold drink at the beach bar but vice versa have less time to enjoy the ocean. It’s a choice, to some extend. Geronimo, what a coincident.
We have started yesterday to read “The Doyle – Martinique to Grenada” and you won’t believe how excited we got while browsing through this excellent cruising guide. A mixture of travel guide and nautical almanach, perfect for sailors. Tons of useful information, which will help us to plan the upcoming weeks within this area. It will be a different world to us not only from the sailing point of view. We look forward to explore this area by boat and bike absorbing the caribbean lifestyle.
We have moved one timezone west and are now in Fernando de Noronha Standard Time. It is an archipelago off the Brazilian coast at the very eastern tip of South America, actually closer to us than Martinique but we better keep going. 270° west rather 180° south. The hour time difference does not mean much to us. We have not adjusted the clocks. Time is much less relevant out here. UTC timing is more important not to miss my daily chat with Jan on the Marine Radio.
We look now forward towards another pleasant and relaxed day at sea.
Fair winds…

E to W Atlantic Crossing – Logblog 1

…waning moon over stern…
It is 3:30am in the morning of our third night on this Atlantic Crossing from East to West. We left Mindelo a day later than planned mainly due to the late arrival of Susan’s luggage and influence by the slogan of the Cabo Verdeans: No Stress! As a matter of fact, it does not matter and the extra day took some time pressure out of the To-Do-List and made it a pretty relaxed departure. After a yummy pizza at our favourite restaurant Colombinho and with a thourough farewell from Petra, Jan and Tobi with the exchange of a few last minutes gifts, we did throw the lines at 9:30am. SY Sutje left 24h after us and are now on our toes, approx. 150nm astern.
A last minute comment on the blog came in from Jani, which I managed to put online before leaving but did not find the time for a reply. Really appreciated the farewell wishes from a next generation fellow sailor. Thank you! We hope you keep enjoying following our adventure and find the time yourself to make it out onto the ocean.
Since then we have sailed 407nm in pretty pleasant conditions apart from three hours motoring through the dead wind zone south of Santo Antao. 1680nm to go before we reach our waypoint set at the southern tip of Martinique. In other words, approximately 20% completion rate.
It was one more time the crew and not the lady, who had to cope with the conditions at start of the passage. We managed to keep the boat moving before and after taking rest. Apetite was low and we forced ourselves to drink enough to stay hydrated. Susan had a cold – 90% over now – I had my usual headache caused by some back tension for 16 hours and since yesterday, the world with its ocean is shiny again – for me. Susan needs another 24 hours but later today, it will be fine. The fun part shall start. 2100nm to sail is a distance which puts things into perspective, which contributed to our longer run-in period, which is normally 24 to 36h at maximum. Finally it is also a very emontional journey and I wonder how we look at it once we have reached the mountains top and the downhill part of the passage starts.
I have not done any weather checks as the trade winds are the trade winds and the window for 10 days look ahead showed perfect and stable trade winds for our course at the time we departed. 15 to 25kn from NE slightly increasing towards the end of the 10 days. During my daily evening calls on the Marine Band Radio with Chief Jan from SY Sutje, I scrounged the latest updates, which confirmed the forecast.
Today, we shall get a bit less wind and from tomorrow onwards it should be in the 20+kn range. In fact we are down to 10 to 13kn only now and I am focused keeping the boat moving at 4kn reducing the banging to a bare minimum. Susan needs good sleep!
Seaweed in the SailGen and the Hydrovane kept us busy for an hour yesterday and broke our good old boathook, both pieces rescued. It is known, that on the latitudes we are sailing some extended fields of seawead are common. We did not face an extended field but enought to clog our two systems. It was easy to remove the grass from the SailGen propeller but the Hydrovane made it a bit more challenging as the rudder goes very deep into the water. Lying down on the after deck, while trying to strive it off with the boathook, I bruised the rips a bit. Nothing serious but will need some embrocating with DOC Morris for a while. Glad I got some of the stuff left from Erika. A broken boathook was the donation for this learning. It got stuck between the leading edge of the rudder the the hull mounting while trying to strive the grass off the rudder. Did not work. Hook consumed. Next. Furl in the sails to get the speed out of the boat. Disengage the windpilot and run under electric autopilot. Give a hard turn on the windpilot rudder into both directions to get maximum twist and the stuff came off. It will happen again but now we are better prepared and need a new boathook.
Two smaller birds accompanied us for a while yesterday. It happend before but new was, that they came as a couple and landed on the water. What a similes.
Fair winds…

…see you again Mindelo…

⛵️…ready to move on…🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️

We are ready to move on. After last bits and pieces from the ship chandlery, the lady prepared as good as possible and a nice dinner at our favourite restaurant, we will throw the lines tomorrow, 14th December 2022 @ 9am local time.

We had magnificent two weeks here in Cabo Verde, a colourful country with hard working people in good climate.

I am now looking forward to cross the Atlantic together with Susan.

Fair winds…

Preparation & Party

After we completed some more tasks on the To-Do-List during the day while exploring the town we also had a very nice farewell dinner together with some fellow sailors from SY Sutje and SY Zuri. We had given up the luggage for the day but spotted it finally at the security guard. Fair winds…

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