Boating & Biking Adventures

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Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 9 / Logblog 8

We got a welcome visitor during the last night, a puzzled seagull. I was sitting in the cockpit, when I heard some unusual noise on the other side of the spray hood under the mast top. It has hit somehow the boom and felt down on the teak. After sitting on the boat for some time it flew off leaving some of its business behind. 😀

Taking some 30min rest after the hit. Then off.

The last 32nm happened quickly. The wind brought us up to the port entry where we took down the spinnaker pole once protected from the waves and motored into the marina. The marina staff were very attentive and supportive to secure the boat in a berth at winds still blowing 20kn – never stopping trade winds.

There will be some delay in cleaning the logblog as I have to work per the priorities on the To-Do-List, which got longer again. Some routine work but also some new issues like the water maker high pressure pump shutting down seconds after start. And finally I want to get on the bike and explore the area.

Thanks for joining.

Fair winds…

Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 9 / Logblog 7

It is 1:30am UTC in the morning and the zigzag is over. We have gybed under bare pole with the Hydrovane only and slowly returned back into our lane of approach towards the waypoint set in the middle of the entrance channel between Sao Vincente and Santo Antao. Running 2.8kn boat speed and 3.6kn speed over ground caused by the pushing current at 19kn TWS on the stern with no sails at all up. Still irritates me a bit but I never tested this before.

Sunrise is at 6:50am Cabo Verde time, which is 7:50am UTC. Coming from Canary Islands, we still have UTC on our watches. 8am UTC arrival time is perfectly fine then. We have a bit of float now in the schedule, so we can get the spinaker pole down and some water with our water maker produced. It never produced water into the boat´s own water tanks, so today is maiden day for the system on this aspect. Things will change from here onwards anyway. We have left Europe and are going into a developing country. Poverty is a subject on the Cabo Verde Islands. It was clear to me that the arrival into Mindelo will be the spicy part of this passage. Acceleration zone between the two islands, sea charts stating “watch out for unmarked wrecks” on the approach to the marina, unlit buoys, full anchorage in front of the marina, etc. I got a reservation confirmed, that should help. Hope their committment has not changed.

Despite all the uncertainties I am totally excited to pay a visit to this place and its people.

Good I rested the nights & days before as this night will require full attention until we are securely berthed.

About 25nm to reach the waypoint and 32nm for the berth.

Fair winds…

Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 9 / Logblog 6

We have just now sailed 800nm without taking the mainsail out once and only flying the 110% foresail. It got sometimes fully deployed, sometimes partly reefed and sometimes not even unfurled. With or without spinnaker pole.
This gave me some food for thought on sail arrangements and after a long and heated discussion with the lady we concluded the following concerning the mainsail.

The mainsail is good for two purposes:

#1. Obviously you cannot take the lady out on a catwalk without having mainsail out. Imagine, sailing the parade alongside many other boats, whereever in the world, and no mainsail out. The yacht will only look complete and attractive under full set of sails. No doubt.

#2. The mainsail is also needed, from a technical point of view, if the skipper wants to bang his head against the wall. In other words, the skipper wants, or has to, sail against the wind. Technically you will need some mainsail out to make that work properly.

In all other circumstances the mainsail remains a nice to have, which brings minium speed advantage but plenty of headache. The mainsail can become a huge risk under certain broad reach courses, especially with increasing wind angls in windy and wavy conditions. Numerous times this was the reported root cause of serious injuries or even death in worst case or best case de-masted yachts desperately crying for help. Some had preventer lines some maybe not.

I had my own experience around 2005 when Susan and myself approached Hasle in Denmark on our beautiful HR34 at that time. We did the unintentional gybe and I found my glasses next to me on the cockpit bench and cannot recall how they got there. The only thing I remember is that the boom did not bang my head as in this case I would probably not be sitting here typing these lines. Perpaps I did defend my head against the boom with my hands and by doing so the glasses flew off. I cannot recall the exact circumstances but understood at that time, that I was lucky.

Sometimes speed could be a good reason and the extra knot you would get from the mainsail might bring you into the marina before the storm kicks in or it´s getting dark but passage planning can partly compensate for that. Perhaps not in each and any case but it´s worth a consideration.

I am sure this subject can be debated further but personally I feel much more relaxed keeping the main furled into the mast even though I arrive a bit later at my destination.

We will need to decide on our sail configuration for the upcoming crossing of the Atlantic towards the Caribbean.

Fair winds…

Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 9 / Logblog 5

The final present #9 has been unpacked and consumed on the spot! 😋

Each present was a highlight each day!

Thank you so much Elke and Ulli joining & supporting me on this passage.

Fair winds…

Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 9 / Logblog 4

We have run under bare poles for a while now and still too much speed to ensure arrival in daylight hours. Wind is also still around 20kn gusting 25kn, which has not been predicted. It should slowly decrease a bit over night. However, in order to gain the 1-2 hours needed to ensure arrival not before sunrise we are now going a bit zigzag for a couple of hours.

It seems to work although the waves are coming a bit more from aside rather the stern but the Hydrovane keeps the boat almost in heave to conditions without sails up and at 110 TWA as a compromise with less than 1kn boat speed.

I will probably have to stay up tonight to get this done, which is not a problem as I am pretty rested and had an energizing dinner just a few hours before. The wind is now warmer and it is more pleasant to stay in the cockpit during the night compared to the recent nights when we left La Gomera.

Fair winds…

Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 9 / Logblog 3

All flags for our approach of Cabo Verde have been set under the spreader bars:

The courtesy flag of Spain had to be repalced by the courtesy flag for the of the Republic of Cabo Verde. The two pennants for Trans-Ocean e.V. and Intermar e.V. are heavily worn out after more than 2 years exposed to the sun and completely removed for the moment although I have spares on board. The Q-Flag is required for immigration purposes. All set.

The tissue sail out as a foresail might have to be reduced further again – not much left then – as we are still a bit too fast.

Fair winds…

Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 9 / Logblog 2

We have now shifted the foresail and left a size of a tissue out there to reduce speed. Wind and waves are still pushing south and I am trying to arrange a speed over ground (SOG) of 3.5 to 4.0 knots only to arrive at the waypoint set in the middle of São Vicente and Santo Antão with a safety distance of 2-3nm at around 8am tomorrow morning.

The spinnaker pole is still up on starboard side and will be taken down once the waves have scaled down. This might only be the case tomorrow morning upon our arrival at the set waypoint.

Got half of a bucket flying fish on deck this morning. All size from 4cm to 24cm. They got this terrible scales and lose some of them on the hard landing which are then spread around on the deck. On top of that they leave some mucus at the place of landing, which is all over boat rather than focusing on one common landing place. No wonder, they look a bit stupid, when I throw them overboard again, although they are already dead. Big relief for the lady once the deck is washed with some good salty blue seawater and the teak starts to look shiny again after the sun has dried it up.

It shall be another sugar sailing day at sea after the routine work has been done!

Fair winds…

Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 9 / Logblog 1

It was another pleasant night at sea. The wind stayed around 20kn but the waves became a bit less wild. It is still dark, so I cannot sea how much white cream they still carry. Interesting how the body accomdates to this never ending up and down, side right, side left, backwards and forwards, three dimensional shaking around environment until ignoring it.

My view is, that the normal wave is not a challenge, but the exceptional peak wave appearing every now and then makes it a bit annoying as this disturbes the flow just created and factually accepted being the new normal. But then, most of the time in the worst moment, there is this extra push into any of the above mentioned directions and if you don’t have a solid hold at that very moment it will throw you through the boat.

On a previous passage I ended up on my butt, suddenly sitting there not really knowing how I got there. For sure it was this extra impulse with brutal force and ignorance, which stroke me down. Nothing serious happened but I keep this moment as the eye-opener on this subject. It could easily put an end to our adventure – one bloody wave! That price would be too cheap.

Been to the cinema last night and watched a documentary movie on Cabo Verde. You can find it in the ZDF Mediathek under the title – Im Land der Feuerberge: Kapverdische Inseln. It is very inspirational but it also became clear that our stop in Mindelo is by far too short for this Archipelago. It is sad, that we just pass by and cannot spend a few month within this group of Atlantic Islands. Let´s get a glance first this time before we make another plan.

Feels very good to be already totally excited about what is going to happen once we have arrived!

Fair winds…

Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 8 / Logblog 3

Another delight to kill time as – remember – the emergency package from Elke and Ulli received in Puerto Calero at the time we started this part of the journey was about not being bored and killing time while sailing alone.

It worked very well with a good combination of entertainment and kitchen delights.

Tomorrow will be the last one and I wonder what that will be…

Fair winds…

Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 8 / Logblog 2

Today being the first Sunday of Advent, I wish you all a good start of the Advent season. Another Christmas is coming soon. I wonder how Mindelo will be affected by this and how much decoration will be placed. Really curious to arrive and explore this place.

We have another 200nm to go and I have started to plan the approach into Mindelo. It shall be on Tuesday morning, 29th November 2022. From tomorrow morning onwards we will have to reduce speed, otherwise we would arrive in darkness. Until then we will keep flying south in 25+kn of wind with impressive following seas and more white caps compared to yesterday. The Hydrovane is doing a fantastic job and the lady is dancing on the waves happily. Showing a cold shoulder and sticking out butt now and then she keeps the teak deck dry telling the waves where to stop. I have to admit in confidence that a little splash here and there is bypassing her attention. Nothing dramatic, good play to watch me sitting in the protecitve centre cockpit drinking tea and eating cockies.

Due to the trouble with the Pactor Modem connection at the moment the blogs might not all come through in a timely right sequence. The ones without photo are easier and shall be my focus for the moment but I will try to keep my logblog diary updated.

I look forward to share this fantastic experience with Susan shortly.

Fair winds…

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