Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Passage to Mindelo: Day 1

The forecasts were good, and we had hoped to leave Las Palmas on Saturday for Mindelo, Cape Verde. Alas, we still had way too much to do, so we planned on Sunday. By Saturday afternoon, all the major chores were done and the provisions loaded on board, albeit not yet stowed, so I decided it was time to build our route in the chart plotter. Until then we had only looked at the big picture. But as I zoomed in on Mindelo's island (Sao Vicente), I wasn't getting the detail I expected. Could it be? Indeed. We didn't have charts for the Cape Verde Islands. So we postponed our departure until Monday and enjoyed an evening out at Sailors Bar chatting with other cruisers.

We officially turned to leave Las Palmas at 1435 Monday (2:35 p.m.). The first 12 hours we motor-sailed because we want to get as far south as possible before the forecast southerlies arrive. I turned the engine off just before 0200 this morning, and we've been sailing fast ever since. Our first 24 hours we covered 141 nautical miles at an average speed of 5.875 knots. That's pretty fast for us, and we're averaging over 6 knots now. The seas started at a meter or less, but have grown a bit lately. John caught one small mahi-mahi right away and let it go, and he just caught another, also too small to keep, but that was technically day 2.

All is well aboard Solstice, and we now have charts.

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