Thursday, December 16, 2010

Passage to Mindelo: Day 3

In the past 24 hours we covered 122 nautical miles measuring in a straight line. That's an average speed of a little better than 5 knots (but we really went a little farther and faster because we had a course change as explained below). Most of that has been motor-sailing because the wind is light and still from the southwest.

While dining on fresh mahi-mahi in the cockpit yesterday evening we spotted a whale on the horizon. It was our first confirmed sighting in a couple of years. It was too far away to tell for sure, but judging from the blow and the silhouette, we think it was a sperm whale. This morning a pilot whale was investigating John's jig. Smarter than a mahi-mahi, it didn't linger. Also, we've discovered what we suppose are jellyfish that are new to us. We only see them at night when they look like beach-ball-sized flashes in our wake.

At the end of day 2 we were heading straight for Mindelo on a bearing of 230 degrees. However, last night we were successful in connecting with our weather guru, Herb of South Bound II. We couldn't hear everything he said very clearly, but we did get that there's a little weather system between us and Mindelo. Boats on the other side of it are getting nice sailing with northwest winds. Herb advised us to head straight south until Friday evening, so that's what we're doing. But I hope he changes his mind tonight and lets us go west. The grib files are totally wrong about the wind direction now, so we have to trust Herb.

We learned on the Rum Runners Net this morning that lots of boats are headed to Mindelo. It was news to us since, as I mentioned before, we were isolated from other cruisers in Las Palmas. I don't know how long they're all staying, but most of them will beat us there. I sure hope the marina saves our reservations.

All is well aboard Solstice, but we'd really like to turn the motor off and still get to Mindelo before Christmas.

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