Progress, breakages and sea creatures 17:12.9N 24:43.7W
Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Mon 7 Dec 2015 16:52
Days 4-6. Making good steady progress, most days about 120-130 miles in 24 hrs. Saturday was our wedding anniversary and we found presents on the deck from the sea a flying fish and a squid that must have arrived overnight. Both definitely dead and very dry. The winds have been following a definite pattern and rising at nightfall, we assume that this is caused by the cooling down of that large land mass to the east called Africa.
During Saturday and Sunday there was a distinct steady drop in pressure coming down from a norm of about 1020mb to 1014mb and on Sunday morning gusty squally weather with heavy rain. Over a period of about 3hrs we reefed fully and went back up to full sail 3 times ending up accepting that the reefs would be left in and the engine used to keep us moving between squalls. During this time a block on the kicker broke and had to be changed. The Islands were getting closer and we worked out that if we motored we could just get to Mindelo in daylight on Monday away from what ever the pressure drop was foretelling. On Sunday evening the skipper of Saloman a three mast schooner called on the radio to discus the weather saying that he had never experienced such a drop in these latitudes before. This was quite worrying and had Sarah looking for symptoms of hurricanes all round; the clouds, the sea and the barometer. We motored on into the night. At midnight change of watch we made a decision that nothing was coming our way, it was stupid to use the engine and we might as well sail and accept another two nights at sea. Of course then the wind started behaving itself and we had a steady sail at 4-6 knots through the night. When we poled out the genoa a wire on the pole broke so was replaced with rope. Not really very many breakages so far on this trip.
Monday, since early hours we have been making slow progress but fast enough to get us to Mindelo by Tuesday morning. The day has been spent doing various jobs and cleaning while Serenity is steered by the self steering and powered by the cruising chute. In addition to the fish on deck on Saturday the little chap with the sword like nose found its way into the engine intake filter.
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