After a short break back in UK to catch up with family and the real world (I do hate November weather in UK though, and all my prejudices about it being too cold and wet were dutifully reinforced), I have spent the last few days gathering crew and preparing for what should be a 5 day trip downwind to Cape Verde. We depart tomorrow, Monday 12th November, for Sal – the most northeastern island of the archipelago.
My good friend Crispin arrived on Friday evening and on Saturday we sailed over to Gran Canaria and Puerto Mogan to pick up Simon, who had been cycling on the island. Our trip across was quite fruity – a maximum of 24 knots true, but we were hard on the wind and swell for the best part of 5 hours before it stopped completely as we reached the lee of Gran Canaria. The camera does tend to lie when you take photos of fairly boisterous conditions (the seas flatten somehow) and the photo below doesn’t fully convey what we ploughed through, let alone the water we shipped – but at least the sun was out!
Once in the calm we anchored in a small bay in what proved to be terminal moraine – not the best surface for an anchor – but enough for us to have a quick snorkel and see some fish, before heading into Puerto Mogan, where I had been a few days before. It is truly a lovely spot, albeit an artificially contrived one:
Spellbinder’s berth for the night in Puerto Mogan
There we met Simon, had a cup of tea (as we are British and it was time) and went out for a lovely meal.
In the morning I showed Simon around Spellbinder and we slipped and re-fueled – for the last time before reaching the Caribbean, I hope. Our trip back to Tenerife was in contrast to the previous day’s thrashing; once we eventually found the true wind, we were able to broad reach for most of the way, a lot of it under furling gennaker. Great sailing, with dolphins to boot (and a sailing blog can never have enough photos of dolphins…)!
…being enjoyed by Crispin and Simon…
…and our friends at the bow.
On arrival back at San Miguel marina we berthed, and spent an hour preparing Spellbinder for her next long passage. I went up the mast to check the rigging, we fitted the Hydrovane rudder and bimini solar panels, and readied the towed generator. Tonight I am meeting Charles at the airport, having handed back the hire car I have had for the last month or so (at £12 a day). The forecast looks fairly benign, and we look forward to a 5 day trip downwind, and down-swell to Sal in Cape Verde. I will report back, all going well, when we arrive.
Checking all’s well aloft…