Early morning we got caught by a rain shower after which the wind direction changed slightly from NNW to NNE as forecasted. After adjusting the sails and the sun coming out it became another nice Bluewater Sailing day. 2 other ships we could see far away the whole day, relaxed sailing compared to the coastline of Belgium!
It was the day of “Favonius” to come into play, the name of our new Hydrovane installed and not tested yet. Our elctrical autopilot (no name yet) works marvelous but I did not want to rely on it without a second system onboard. The Hydrovane is a hydro-mechanical rudder installed at the stern of the boat steering the boat by a windvane set into the preferred wind/direction. After some minor adjustments in the setting of the vane and the gear it worked all day without playing games. The course of the boat followed the course of our weather routing on a wing by wing set-up in 12 to 15 knots of backwinds. Already impressed Favonius will not only provide us with good winds in future but also help to steer them out.
We are now entering night number four and it is clear that this will become a five night trip. We expect to arrive in Madeira on Saturday, 18th September before noon. There is no rush as the weather window is open to the end and we are not under pressure to arrive e.g. before some bad weather kicks in. This is an important factor to consider from the start, something I learned from Inge and Ralf from SY malwieder and TO friends. The Bluewater remains fascinating and I could just sit and watch all day to absorb this unique atmosphere the ocean offers.
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