We upped anchor and motored out of the anchorage of Dakar at 2:45pm Jan 12. We were sailing under topsails, main topmast staysail, spanker, fore topmast staysail and inner and outer jibs by 3:00pm. The fastest transition from engine to sail yet!
The wind had shifted a bit to the East and consequently it was filled with reddish dust from the Sahara. It was so thick it was like fog making visibity pretty poor.
I picked up a stomach bug in St Louis so I wasn’t feeling very good and hit my bunk for a snooze as soon as I could. This turned out to be bad idea, when I woke up 4 hours later we were out in the steady tradewinds close hauled on the starboard tack and really rolling in the big swell. As a result I got seasick and spent the next day being pretty miserable from both ends! Blah.
The sailing is fantastic however. The sky out here is only a little hazy mostly bright blue and the seas are a beautiful dark blue with very bright white foam caps. The swells are easily 10′ or more in height and rolling down wind this means we are sailing across them at an angle which makes for a roller coaster like ride!
There are lots of flying fish here. I didn’t used to think that they flew, more glided like a flying squirrel. They actually do fly for a lot farther and under a fair amount of control than I thought. I watched one go for several wavelengths up over a wave crest and down the trough! Pretty cool to see. So far we haven’t had any land on board much to Chibley’s disgust (apparently she likes them rawwwww and wwwiiiiggling precious).
Steering this ship is fascinating. Different people have different styles I’ve noticed. Some people move the wheel a lot back and forth, essentially “hunting the course”, others tend to make small adjustments, just enough to start her moving and then wait till she goes back and then they undo the adjustment. I favour the latter approach myself. I tried once before to make big changes in order to speed up the corrections but ended up getting into an over correcting feedback loop. Nasty. Note this only applies to sailing of course, maneuvering is another matter entirely and I have not had to do that yet.
We are now, Wednesday the 14th, over half way to Cape Verde and should arrive sometime tomorrow morning.
I’m on galley duty so will not have to get up for my night watch which will be nice.
Thanks for reading.
Thur Jan 15,08
On galley duty today.
We arrived at Sel Island in the Cape Verde islands around 9:30 this morning and anchored beside the Alexandre Humbolt, she of the green sails. The Captain has gone ashore to clear in and if he gets back in time we will up anchor and head for Bona Vista (sic) rather than stay here.
Sel is very dry and dusty looking with at least 3 volcanic cones looming up in the haze. apparently Boa Vista is nicer and has a nicer anchorage as well.
The Captain returned but says that we won’t have time to get to Boa Vista today so we will head out early tomorrow morning. All hands are e to be awoken at 6:00am to get underway shortly thereafter. It is only about 36 miles to Boa Vista so we should get there by 10:00 or so.
The Starboard watch went ashore and from the reports of those I’ve talked to since there isn’t much to see or do here on Sel. Not even any Internet, although Corey did mention he saw an Internet Cafe that looked more like someone’s living room than a business.
Not sure when you will get to see this, if there isn’t any Internet here you might not see this till we get to Grenada!
Thanks for reading.