Heading (roughly) for the Azores

Sun 26 Apr 2009 13:43
We (Eric, Brian and Tony) left Mindelo in Cape Verde on Thursday morning along with a couple of German single-handed boats heading in the same direction. We overtook the monohull on day 1 and the cat opted to go the long way SW of Santo Antao rather than to windward up the channel between the two islands.
As expected, we can't quite lay the course in the prevailing NE wind and westgoing current, but are falling about 15 degrees to the west which isn't too bad, and are averaging our 5 Kt (ie around 120 M/day). Initially the wind was Force 3/4 but is now 5/6, so we have a triple-reefed main, a bit of genoa and a blade staysail. Monica (our windvane self-steering gear) is doing a great job and we are all well and eating though also hot and wet thanks to the 4m swell.
Wildlife notes: the main excitements have been a pod of about a dozen short-finned pilot whales as we were leaving Cape Verde and several red-billed tropic birds (gorgeous mainly white birds, looking a bit like oversized terns but with a long, thin tail streamer about as long as the body).
Shipping is sparse - one freighter each on Thu and Fri nights.
I guess that we are now around a quarter of the way provided that we get wind shifts that allow us to lay the Azores.