We were checking the weather forecast every day to find the best time to start sailing to Cape Verde. It seemed that no matter when we sail, on the first days we will have to use the engine because good winds seem to be about 100 nm offshore and it is calm around the islands.
We were sent on our way by a huge sea turtle on the morning of 25th October whom we met at the El Hierro marina. All going well it should take about 1 week to reach Cape Verde. Two other boats followed us and were sailing in parallel courses. First days were calm, but in the evening, there was still not enough wind to make even a few knots of speed with sails. Other boats continued with the engines and soon we didn’t saw them anymore.
Our usual daily routine on the boat was following.
- 0900 – 1100 ärkamine ning hommikusöök
- Free time. Below is the list of free time activities in random order.
- Reading books
- Having a nap
- Looking other boats at the sea with
binocularand with AIS (automatic identification system, an electronic device showing other boats in the range. Found0 other boats. Seems that we are the only ones here. Maybe we are lost… …?
- Trying to catch a fish – no luck. Probably doing something wrong? but what
- Adjusting the sails. Checking the course and adjusting the sails again.
- Enjoying the hot sun and the marvelous sunsets into the ocean
3. 1300-1500 Lunch. Usually, Kaija is cooking because she knows this stuff better 😊
4. Free time – same things all over again
5. 1800– Usually we did not cook any dinner and we just had some snacks, sandwiches, fruits etc…
6. 1900 – Sleeping time for Kaija and Jaanus because our night watch time was from 0000- 0500 or til Margus was asleep.
7. 0000– Night watch. Ensuring that the boat sails with the right course because with heavy wind and waves the autopilot might disengage. Adjusting the sails when the wind changes. Ensuring there are no boats with collision course around us. We managed to also do some reading and listening to audiobooks while our watch
8. 0500– Sleeping
9. 0900 – 1100 waking up and having a breakfast and doing exactly the same things as the day before 😊
Sometimes Kaija was not feeling so well when the sea was rough so Jaanus was the one trying to cook the lunch because he was the one who could stay indoors longest without feeling sick. Although lunch got served everybody had to agree that Kaija is better cook 😊
Reading and sleeping were our favorite means of spending the free time. Jaanus managed to read 3 and Kaija 2 books.
We also spotted some whales few times and many many flying fishes almost daily. One night two whales were passing our boat so close that it even felt a bit scary.
In general, on the first half of the trip, the winds were light and we did move only with 3-5 knots speed. Though, the second half was already more fun because we got constant winds of 15-20 knots and made good 6-7 knots speed. Sometimes the speed even reached 9 knots.
Since this sailing leg was such a long one we had to consider our personal hygiene as well. We don’t have any hot water on the boat and fresh water supplies are limited. Thereby we used the sea water for washing. Pull a bucket of sea water and throw it all over yourself. Use some shower gel and repeat the previous. Obviously washing Kaijas hair was much more complicated than that. The water temperature was around 25-26 degrees Celsius, so it was even refreshing with a hot weather to shower with it.
The highlight of this leg was Margus birthday. For this, we had a little present for him – red wine from El Hierro wine villa. We had lunch on Margus (Tactical Foodpack) and opened a bottle of sparkling wine and had some olives and cheese for snacks. Kaija also managed to bake a cake with things available on a boat like conserved apricots, sugar, oil, eggs, and flour.
On the morning of 1st November, we started to see the land. This was an elevating moment 😊 despite there was still somewhat 9 hours to go. We also spotted a rainbow so it was a nice last day sail.
We made it to the marina just before the office closure time so we got our gate and shower room access cards the same evening. Although we enjoyed also the sea water and bucket showers, after such a long voyage
In the evening we had well-deserved drinks and a proper dinner right at the harbor restaurant.