17:01.94N 27:13.31W Atlantic Day 2 January 1st 2016

Fri 1 Jan 2016 11:59
Happy New Year Everyone,
First I must apologise to Kerry and Kirsty at Poole Quay Boat Haven for muddling up their names when referring to the Atlantic crossing on the Stavvy back in 2004, it was Kirsty who was aboard.
On Dec 27th I did a big cook, 4 evening meals in separate containers, for the passage. We have three vacuum packed tortillas which each do two meals so that gets us a good way along. Also there are various pastas that can be spruced up with veg and the possibility of the odd fish, if I let Rob out of the cockpit to set it all up.
We heard drums from the shore and decided to go and look for the source. Inside what looked like and old courtyard or parade ground we entered through a little door to find a colourful group of fifty or so youngsters with their two leaders. They were great to listen to, putting lots of energy into their music. As we turned to leave we found we were locked in. So we listened to some more until one of them kindly came and let us out.
After a light Italian supper we returned aboard to watch A Star is Born. We had seen Love Actually on Christmas Day and The Gangs of New York on Boxing Day. But now the cinema is closed until further notice!
By now we were mentally ready to set off. We hugged and kissed numerous fellows sailors including Barry and Wayne and now it was our turn to set out on what promises to be a roller coaster of a ride at 20 –28 knots of wind from our stern right hand side. Our Clearance Out document names Captain as Robert Wilte, we might well do so before we arrive in the Carib.
The hands of fate gave us a reprieve of two days to allow a strong gale to pass through, I know we might meet them on the way but there’s no need to set off into the teeth of one, me thinks.
This also gave us time to spend with Chris and Sandra from Deep Blue. We visited each-others boats and had a meal ashore after showing them around town. They were looking forward to their stay in Mindelo just as we had enjoyed ours. Sandra left us with a dozen home-made mince pies which just melt in the mouth and we are rationing ourselves to one each per day.
New Year’s Eve, Atlantic Day. We had planned to leave around 10.00 and 10.06 was our moment. There was plenty of wind in the channel between the two islands but it dropped from 30knots to 8knots instantly when we entered the lee of the big island, so we motored out of it watching the wind direction and speed indicators until they showed the return of the trades.
The yacht behind us took his sails in when he entered the lee and we haven’t seen him since but we know at least four German boats are leaving today, hot on our tail.
At 11.55 last night the DTW (distance to waypoint, Guadeloupe) reading was 2015 miles, the same as the year. Five minutes later the year became 2016 and the DTW 2014 miles.
The early hours brought along teenage winds, 13 – 19 knots but as the sun rose so did the wind and we are back into the twenties. At 07.23 the DTW was 1965, the year I became a teenager when Rob was 7!
We find it best to sit on the high side of the cockpit at present so we cannot see the approaching waves. The motion is not too uncomfortable and we have slept well. Zoonie is single reefed at present and making over 6 knots. Our first 24 hours should give us 130 odd miles in exactly the right direction.
Have a good day.