16 39.3N, 26 35.6W.
We left Mindelo at about 2pm yesterday. I should explain that the times here are ‘ship time’. Mindelo is one hour behind UK, and Barbados is a further three hours different to Mindelo so the strategy for time, copied from the crew on Spirit of Oysterhaven, is: change clock on departure, half way across and on arrival. We should hardly notice.
What we will notice is the extra day the crossing may take due to the very light and fickle winds we had on the first night out. Speeds were dire. The run to noon today is a rather paltry 85 miles. So it’ll be about a 95 mile 24 hour run. Somewhat different to the vendee globe fleet.
They are out here somewhere. If anyone fancies it, compare our track to theirs and do let us know if it looks like we’ll meet any of them. Same goes for the Talisker Atlantic Challenge. (Now there’s a top sponsor deal). The rowing, yes ROWING, teams left the Canaries about four weeks ago heading for Antigua. There is tracking on their website but I only found it by googling for the tracking, couldn’t find it otherwise.
We are up to better speed now, between 5 and 6 knots most of the time. Winds are F4 and on the starboard quarter for our desired heading of, yes you guessed it, West. We are having to relearn the windvane self steering. It’s part science, part art, and it was pointed out by a Scandinavian crew in Mindelo, part magic. I don’t feel like we have any fairy dust to sprinkle at the moment so it’s a bit of a headache. To be honest the windvane doesn’t particularly like the downwind stuff. It allows us to meander about 30 degrees either side of the course and with a risk of a gybe ever present it’s frustrating. It worked great when we were dead downwind using the twin yankees on the way to Mindelo, but if we did that now we’d be following Danny and Em on Stepping Out to Brazil. And I really want to get to the Caribbean. There’s cricket to see don’t you know.
Lisa will post this on the blog for us, thanks again Lisa. I’m not sure how we are going to get to see your comments though, they usually come to helens email which is out of reach for the duration of the crossing. You can always mail us on the sat phone address, graceoflongstone @my iridium.net.
Time for a cuppa. And love to all of you out there.
PS – this was written by Dave