End of Pit Stop

Sun 30 Nov 2014 20:06
16:55.20N 026:00.80W

Day Seven at Sea - 30/11/14

Awoke feeling slightly groggy after last night's festivities. 

Another ARC boat had come into the harbour in the night - "Mr Grey" a grey Hanse 505. Their skipper had fallen very ill and so they were hoping to pick up more crew before carrying on.

Wandered around Mindelo looking for an open food shop, which was not easy. Managed to buy some essentials (clothes washing liquid?) and some veg but not much else. Paul tried to by some fish but could not get excited at the collection of sprats on offer. Back at the boat we were subject to admiring glances - Juno is the biggest, bluest, shiny-est vessel here - which led to visits on board by a nice couple from Wrexham (Gin Rummy) who were starting a gap year sailing to the Caribbean and a very beautiful pair of 23 year-old French girls who were boat-hitchhiking their way about the globe and had managed to secure a passage with a silver-haired solo sailor heading for Martinique (Jonathan of Cherbourg). These vessels and ours all bounced up and down wildly in the marina. We have noticed the pontoon fixings are missing in a number of places. This is a wild safe harbour.

Steve pronounced the steering A-OK and after putting his hand to some other jobs considered too difficult by Engineering we head out of the harbour for a test sail - this goes well. We refuel with 500 litres of CV diesel somewhat nervously. We have been warned by a very experienced yachtsman that the fuel will need filtering through a pair of tights. When Skip called for these amongst the crew there only blushes, but no tights. Shrimpy's handkerchief had to do.

Our DYL visiting Engineer was transferred by tender to another Discovery 57 in the harbour (Outer Rim) where he was going to perform more routine servicing. Thank you Mr Huxter, thank you DYL. We were ready to cross the Atlantic and find the Indies - western or otherwise.

We anchored up briefly to permit calls to the near and dear, then Skip declared his intentions to go sailing. We had full regalia coming out of the harbour and crossed the Canal San Vicente at battle speed (9 + kts). As we exited, we were called up on the VHF by Ninety Nine Bottles, another ARC 2014 boat and a catamaran (Lagoon 43) who had also diverted into the CV to effect urgent repairs. Nav-man told then in plain English over Ch 16 that Discovery Yachts had sent and engineer out to meet us and that after only 21 hours we were on our way again. They were truly impressed. They had a damaged rudder. We wondered who might fix it?

The wind died as we hit the wind shadow at the bottom of Santa Antao at which point the GPS declared cheerfully that we had 2,066nm to go. At least we could look forward to breaking the 2,000 barrier some time in the night. The wind returned and night fell and so we began the passage in earnest, quite reefed down roaring westward at 8.5-9.5kts. Massive cross swells. 

We are now in for the long haul.