Sun 6 Feb 2011 13:22
I left Puerto de La Luz yesterday at 11 in the morning, accompanied by Guiellermo in his boot along with Krasimir, Madonna, Marianna and Orlin. Krasimir had a hand-held speaker and was shouting encouragements, awesome. Near the coast the wind was blowing with 20kn from southeast, and I had to go east for 18nm before I could turn SSW and pass the island. Guiellermo was already kidding me whether I want to go back to Germany :-).
The sea was very choppy and I was glad when I could finally tack, because sailing close-hauled in 20kn is not very kind on the material. And the skipper. But Gudrun was going very well at 7-8kn, and within three hours I had passed two other boats that had left before me. Both Katamarans, which had a very hard time making any way towards the wind at all. Good downwind boats though, they'll probably pass me later.
Then the wind-vane stopped working. And while I was lying on the bathing platform to fix it the autopilot stopped working too. What a wonderful start, just like in the old days! :-)
Well, I got the wind-vane working after a while, and then went below decks to have a look at the autopilot. The first thing I noticed was plenty of water in the bilge. The taste-test confirmed my suspicion that it was from the leaking water tank. I decided to pump that out first and see if it solves the problems with the autopilot, which it did. When the sea gets a little calmer I have to remove the floor-boards and have a look at that cable.
At 6pm, Shortly before nightfall, the wind changed to East and dropped below 10kn. I exchanged main and genoa for the parasailor, and the ride become a lot smoother. Less rolling from left to right. Time for a nap! Unfortunately only three hours later the wind increased to above 20kn again, quite gusty, and I dropped the parasailor and unfurled the genoa a bit. The conditions haven't changed since, and I'm going with 6 to 7 knots at 217° towards the Cap Verdes islands. The boat rolls a lot with the waves and it's not very comfortable. But it always takes a few days to settle in. Let's see what surprises today brings!