Lanzarote to Grenada, day 3

Stravaig'n the Blue
Tue 12 Jan 2021 16:49
End of day 3 position: 25:19.5 N 019:49.5 W (215 miles south west of La Gomera)
Position timestamp: Tuesday 12 Jan 2021 12:00 UTC-1
Distance travelled last 25 hours: 158 NM
Reduction in distance to destination last 25 hours: 150 NM
Distance travelled total: 460 NM
Average speed since departure: 6.3 knots
Shortest distance to destination: 2512 NM
ETA based on average speed so far: the wee hours of 29 January (19.6 days in total)

The wind has held steady from the NE since midday yesterday but dropped off overnight into the low teens and hasn’t yet picked up. Most of the 158 miles we travelled went towards getting us 149 miles closer to Grenada. A good result.

It was a long day. Twenty five hours to be precise. This was because we put our clocks back an hour. At 15 degrees west, the Canaries should be one hour behind the UK but chooses not to be. I’m not sure why. It will help some businesses that they are only one hour, rather than two, adrift from mainland Spain and it certainly means that British tourists shouldn’t get confused.

We are now in the correct time zone for our position and will move the clocks back another hour at 22.5 W, 37.5 W and 52.5 W (every 15 degrees) so that we are on Eastern Caribbean time a day or so before arriving in Grenada (62 W).

The first time we crossed the Atlantic, from Tenerife to Barbados in 2016, our plan for adjusting the clocks was to do what we would do if we were flying to Barbados …. change them once, on arrival there. About a week into the passage, when we were eating breakfast in the pitch dark, we realised a better plan was required.

The weather forecast I downloaded the day we left shows light winds north of 20 N 30 W from Sunday. The forecast I’ve just downloaded confirms this and shows these light winds continuing until Wednesday. It will be difficult to avoid the light winds entirely but we should be able to minimise their impact if we can be south of 20 N 30 W by Saturday. 650 miles in four days …. very achievable. 20 N 30 W is shown on the first weather diagram in the 6th January blog post titled “Our route, Lanzarote to Grenada”. 

Altering course towards 20 N 30 W means we will be sailing dead downwind. We have therefore deployed our dead downwind sail, the Blue Water Runner. For those who are into sails, the BWR consists of two high cut yankees, joined together at their luffs by a torsion bar that attaches to the furling drum at the tacks and to the halyard furling swivel at the heads. At 150 sq m it is a big sail, three times the size of our regular head sail.

Deploying the BWR took an hour and a bit, mainly working on our hands and knees on the rolling foredeck. The gennaker had to be dropped to the deck, detached from the furling gear and sheets, and then coiled into its bag.

The BWR was then winched out of the sail locker to make room for the gennaker.

After uncoiling the BWR and laying it out down the deck, we attached the furling gear and sheets and hoisted into place.

Then, under engine, we turned the boat around, into the wind, to drop and secure the mainsail, before turning back downwind to unfurl the BWR and switch off the engine.

A lot of effort but the BWR should see us to 20 N 30 W, and probably beyond, without another sail change.

All is well