28:7.637N 15:25.559W

Mon 20 Nov 2017 17:49
28:7.637N 15:25.559W 

Knot on Call Blog 19th/20th November

At last we are underway, seen off by lots of spectators in boats and on shore, some 180 yachts leaving together is quite a spectacle. Saturday was spent stowing 20 kgs of frozen meat, the last supermarket delivery and 60-70 kgs of fruit and veg, definitely no scurvy on this boat.

The start vessel was a Spanish Naval ship and thanks to our Dinghy racer on board we got a cracking start at the committee end of the line. We quickly overhauled some of the Catamarans in the earlier start and made distance on much of the fleet. We flew the Code Zero genekar to give us 10 knots in a 12 knot breeze and exuberance abounded. You are sensing, I am sure, there is a but coming pretty soon!

 As we reached the bottom of the island and turned south we swapped to the G2 Genekar, some 1500 sq ft of pristine light weight, blue sail cloth to maintain speed on a wider angle. Reaching the wind acceleration zone with wind increasing to 20 knots and gusts a little higher it was time to drop the G2. BUT the toilet seat snuffer that pulls the sleeve down over the collapsing sail jammed and wouldn't budge. Try as we may the power in the sail was enormous and doing all things possible to depower it we failed to shift it. The sail was becoming tangled with the furled gib and at the same moment a yacht forced us to gybe out of his way, causing the G2 to wrap once more around the gib and rip in the middle on the spreaders, not a scrap of compassion for us – bastard!! Eventually just before dark we managed to unwrap it and cut it away. We had lost our most powerful downwind sail for the rest of the crossing, a good hour of time and were back at the rear of the fleet. Long faces abounded and morale nose dived.

 Our Options are; Carry on with the standard rig and code 0 on the southern route passing close to Cap Verde, motoring through a 2-300 mile dead spot of little wind or go due west and head into a potentially stormy head on area of low pressure.

Monday is another day, the sun is shining, the wind is reasonable and the Atlantic swell is helping rather than hindering. With the standard rig of main and jib, we are heading south, 150 miles off the African coast trying to stay in the finger of wind that exists around us and flying along at 8-10 knots in 13-14 knots of wind which is great. The plan is to head to Cap Verde and if we don't use too much fuel motoring we will carry on. If the wind is very low we may stop briefly there to refuel.

All the IT is working well, emails for friends, weather, including daily Grib file charts showing wind predictions on a map are all coming though perfectly. And for diner tonight we are having freshly prepared chicken casserole, rice and cauliflower cheese – we hope!!

More in a couple of days.


fruit, veg and more
The Motley Crew
Shortly after the start


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