DOWN THE HILL
That's how it looks sailing in Atlantic with winds and big seas. WaveS come...lift up the stern ...and than with a full power- surfing all way down. And than another...and another..and than some crazy wave which comes from who knows where hits the boat and big amount of water comes on you. After so many calm days before...than comfortable 15 knots for other few days..finally we got lots of wind.
It started blowing 20- 25 knots and like that till now. And it would be super nice sailing if not those big waves. They make all much more complicated. Reading, sleeping, cooking and etc..But the biggest problem is steering. Few days ago a big wave crashed on stern of the boat and broke our wind wane wooden plate. It happened at night so it was quite not nice to start uninstalling broken plate in the dark and try to fix it. So it was left for the next day . With the day light all looks better. Luckily we had another plate on board so with little effort Egoi managed to install it there. My father gave it for emergency and so we gave it use. But not for a long time. Huge sea and strange broken waves made steering by wind vane impossible, so finally we decided to stop fighting of trying to make it steer and started steering boat by ourselves. . If it happened in beginning of the trip probably we would fight more and would manage it work properly finally , but now we were tired of constantly trying to put in on course. But each of us has two hands no? Needs to shorten hours of watch keeping -3 hours each with 6 hours of rest and lets steer. For 3 days we can do it:)
All the rest is going very good. We have plenty of water left and diesel we almost didn't touch. Fruits and vegetable except onions, garlic and potatoes are finishing..but there are still cold beer in the fridge and liters and liters of wine left. We do not fish anymore because after the past Mahi Mahi which we had for lunch for 3 days no one of us miss it. For now we prefer rice, pasta or some beans instead. Actually when its so hot food is nots priority anymore..
Days here on water became hotter and hotter. Inside the boat even more. Now we sail with all hatches closed, so you can imagine... A real sauna! Humidity almost 100 precent and a heat:) Outside little bit better , but even at nights we can stay in swimming clothes without problem. But we love it. Somehow this is what we were looking for- a real tropic weather. With sun , heat and rain. After so much sand and dry wind in Canary island and Cape Verde its such a pleasure to get rain finally!
Hope the next post will be already from Suriname. After fresh water shower and quiet long sleep in calm waters...
p.s. right after writing this text we one more time managed our wind vane to steer. Seems that we discovered our mistake and learned how to adjust it now. So again hands free !:)
We are flying!...Its amazing how fast the Sea can change,,,one day it is slow,,lazy and hardly moving,...and other day there are mountains of water all around trying to catch us. Finally we got wind and of course big waves too. Now its blowing 20 knots with the gust reaching 25 knots and Grain de Sable is surfing in all speed towards Suriname. Life on board became less comfortable and cooking is like an art...but we are so happy because miles on Gps are decreasing fast and less and less is left. And like always when the half way is done everyone of us starts counting miles and planning day of arrival. But still we have more than 700 miles to sail.....
To our everyday life on board came routine .. First wait till all are awake and than a midday beer...than shower time with a sea water from bucket.. checking fish pipe if we catch anything...than making lunch of fish or other ..eating..doing some small works( like making mosquito nets on each hatch of boat)...coffee..many talks in cockpit...and many many hours of observing the sea...
And we are busy all day:)...just like that!
Now with the big waves all things we do requires more effort and time because boat is rolling a lot and inside sometimes you feel like in washing machine. And when you cook you dream to have 2 extra hands. But we manage all. And so with waves or without we continue eating hot meals, baking bread, making sweet cakes or jams from old fruits. Ok me personally i prefer 15 knots and slower but more relax passage, but in such a long leg you must be really really lucky to have so constant winds all trip.
Our wind wane continue helping us to steer like a real fourth crew member- working hours and hours without a break. It took time to understand how to make it work good and still now there are things we don,t understand. Most of the time it steers perfectly but with a bigger seas sometimes it needs constant attention. Because of some big waves a lot of time it goes out of course and is not able to recuperate it. Than we need to help it with a main wheel and it come back to steer to course again. So our watch keeping's now are more attach to the cockpit because we need to be ready to take a wheel when wind wane fails.. But its all Ok ..At least we don't need to steer all time and for sure with the time we will discover all secrets. Our boat has hydraulic steering so the system of installation of wind vane is quite complicated. We have secondary rudder installed and wind pilot is steering independently from the main rudder which must be blocked at the center and left untouched. So we are steering with auxiliary rudder which is smaller and so needs more time to turn the boat.
Nevertheless we are content to have this wind vane and appreciate its help more than you can imagine!!!!!
737 NM LEFT
One more time we celebrate Egoi birthday in Sea:) 36 years!...Still 4 years younger than our Grain. A third birthday at Sea! Once it was in Pacific Ocean, another time in Red sea and now here in Atlantic. Nice collection:)This time instead of birthday cake Egoi got a big donuts cake( made from secretly bought donuts in Mindelo:))...and beautiful Dorado steak for lunch. Yesterday finally we had luck to catch two 3 kg Mahi-Mahi!!!!...what a taste!!! we were missing it. For the desert- double portion of cold beer, of course. Today was allowed to jump the 1 beer per day rule:)
And birthday surprise- visit of a big shark in the front of the boat!..
Ocean continues being calm and stable..Today 15 of March we have still 1390 nm left. Our medium is around 90 miles per day and we are happy to sail them. Every night more or less around 02.00 utc wind starts going down and before sunrise drops so much down that needs to steer by hand because boat speed purely reaches 2 knots and wind pilot is not able to steer it. Than after sunrise it start blowing and in mid day Grain de Sable again is moving smoothly towards west. Next day the same,,,next next the same...and the same.
Sometimes at night we get a visit of some black cloud with little rain .and nothing more.
SO we sleep , stay on watch , think what to cook, cook, eat , read, again think what to cook...sleep and stay watches:) Boat is rolling very little so paradise for kitchen. Comparing with our previous crossings and stories from others sailors we feel really lucky to have these conditions. Ok in speed we loose...but all the rest? Probably 1:0 in our favor.
Like a turtle... If not our previous Atlantic crossings we could start thinking thats its a joke what is written in pilot books about the constant 15-20 knots Alisios blowing all time in this part of the Ocean during winter and early spring months...Its a third day of our trip and our wind speed meter all time is showing between 7 and 13 knots...boat speed - from 2 till 4, 4knots...Now at 21.00 utc 12/03/16 we have 1657nm left and our media is around 90 miles a day
Very very very slow...
But the Ocean is beautiful!!!....Sun and blue sky all the time. Warm and even hot in the days...calmed sea and comfortable life
on board...Lets say- real holiday sailing.
We are making 4 hour watches...so lots of time to rest what means none of us is tired and the mood is great:) Manu starts the night, later comes Egoi and at the end me, who meets the sunrise. After again Manu, Egoi and me. At midday we have our Beer time, when three of us join in cockpit for a cold beer and some ,picoteo,( small snack) - we cant forget land traditions, and later all make a day meal which usually becomes a dinner also.
Time to time need to steer , because our wind pilot become crazy when the boat speed goes down till 2,5 knot sometimes..but with a little breeze it comes back to course and again our hands are free:)
Fish? ZERO..Ocean is full of grass so instead of fish steak we can make a big sea salad everyday....Hope more west we will go less grass will appear and our hook instead of sea leaves will catch some proteins for us:)
Our direction is 265 , but depends on direction of wind we are going more south or more north...Since we left Cape Verde we
have twin poled sails ( genoa and jib)configuration in front and hope we will not need to change it till Suriname:) According
weather forecast there will be little wind at least 5 days ahead, so we have all possibilities to win a slowest Atlantic crossing
But who is in a hurry?
This is a story about our life journey or better said is a story about our life afloat a sailing boat. Our trips, our adventures, our challenges and problems found on the way,,our everyday life floating and our unforgettable moments of sailing and tasting the worldl!
"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters."
"The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use."
"There are more sharks on the land than in the sea"
If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late.
Don't worry about the world ending today. It's already tomorrow in Fiji.
" Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit."
"A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind. Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway."
"A bad day at SEA is still better than a good day at work"
"The perfection of a yacht's beauty is that nothing should be there for only beauty's sake."
"Remember 'It was a professional who built the Titanic, It was an amateur who built Noah's Ark"
"Sailing - The art of slowly going nowhere at great expense. "
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.