Saturday, December 18, 2010

Passage to Mindelo: Day 5

We're finally actually pointing toward Mindelo again after almost three days of sailing south. Last night Herb advised us to go even further south--or even east--and we tried all night, but it was very slow. What little wind we had was directly behind us and not doing us any good since we aren't configured for true downwind sailing. Finally, this morning we decided to sail for awhile at 90 degrees off the wind. That took us west of south (yay!), but it was fast, and when the wind eased even more, we set a track west for a waypoint near Mindelo. That's been working out fine so far, and we can always turn south again if necessary.

Yesterday after the dolphin show, a pod of pilot whales came by. I was just as glad that they didn't get too close. And this morning we saw a big turtle. (John saw one yesterday too, but I was busy at the time.) Other than what I've reported, most of the sea life we've seen has been ships. We've been surprised how much traffic there is along the African coast. Meridian 18 west is almost like a highway, and the ships seem to move in convoys. (They probably don't, but it looks like it.) Now that we've turned, we expect to less traffic.

Yesterday was a slow day: only 109.5 nautical miles (4.56 knots average), but that's in a straight line, and we did turn.

All is well aboard Solstice, and by the way, we're officially in the tropics having crossed the Tropic of Cancer on day 3.

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