"Oh, we're going to Antigua" 28:02:02N 13:56:54W

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Sun 18 Nov 2007 20:11

After a very frustrating day on Saturday, getting the Boom fixed (again), and watching most of the other Rally boats leave. We finally got away on Leg 2 of the BWR at 1045 this morning.


On Saturday morning we were in the throws of our final preparations when we discovered a large puddle of Hydraulic fluid at the base of the mast and partly down both side decks. It was dripping from the forward end of the Boom. It was quite cruel having to watch and cheer all the other boats leaving, when we too were gagging to get going.


In the event the “yard” at Puerto Calero were fantastic and they worked all day to get the parts necessary and to fix the leak, whilst we spent the day scrubbing and cleaning off the hydraulic fluid. This was absolutely essential, because hydraulic fluid, teak decks and salt water are a deadly combination for boat safely. Instant man overboard for anyone who steps on it.


The crew of Bly were on the end of the mole at the marina to give us a “Send off”. This involved rather noisy air horns, so no one in the marina was in any doubt about our destination!!


Very shortly after leaving the marina on course for the Cape Verde Islands we were greeted by a small pod of common dolphins. This was to be the first of three visitations during the course of the day. The second two were particularly interesting for us as we have never seen Atlantic Spotted Dolphins before. They are about the same size as Bottle Nose Dolphins, but very pretty. I failed completely to obtain any meaningful pictures of them, so here is a picture from the Whales & Dolphins identity booklet!!




There was little or no wind today, and that position is forecast to continue until Wednesday or Thursday. So we are motoring at slow revs to preserve fuel, as we do not have enough to motor all the way to the Cape Verdes. It’s about 1000nm and we only have 840 litres of diesel on board! So we are now heading in a south westerly direction on a converging course to the Africa coast. The hope is that there will be at least some wind tomorrow, so that we can give the engine a rest (and our ears) and enjoy some gentle sailing with the Gennaker.


As we passed the southern end of Fuerteventura this evening there was a spectacular lighting effect, with the setting sunlight thru the haze. (AKA Polution)



The sunset itself was quite moody as there was a new weather front coming in.




Finally, the last word on Puerto Calero. It is probably the best Marina we have ever stayed in. Largely due to the staff, although the facilities and the setting is truly wonderful too! The other fun thing is that the Ericson Team for the Volvo 2008/9 Ocean race are based there. When they are not training or working on their extra-ordinary racing yacht. They have radio remote controlled scale models of their boat. They use these for practice and a bit of RNR. The scale of this operation is something else, and goodness knows what the Ericsson marketing department s spending on this little venture.



In some ways we were sad to  leave, especially as there are still several boats we have left behind. But they will be leaving too in the next few days and we look forward to meeting up with our new found friends in Antigua.


PS: On fish caught today. Crew advises that the freezer is too full so if I do catch anything then it as to go back to the Atlantic Ocean, rather than the pot.


Hey Ho, speak soon………………….