Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Day 1: 16.17.58'N 027.03.31'W, 121nm (<24h)

December 8, 1200 UTC
Distance to go: 1,866nm
Wind and waves: NE 15-21kn, 1.5-2m
Sails: full main, genoa and cutter

After lots of hugs and kisses from the Tangaroa and the Mjolner and amidst tooting horns we cast off our lines and, with huge butterflies in our stomachs, we motored slowly out of the Mindelo harbour. Unfortunately we were not able to spend much time dwelling on what we were about to undertake as within three miles the engine alarm went off telling us there was a problem with the oil. Seb checked inside the motor case and indeed, seven litres of motor oil were now swimming around underneath it. It was almost immediately obvious that it was caused by a missing cap which allowed the oil to leak and Seb fashioned a new one, mopped up the oil spill and refilled the oil. We spent the next few hours double checking this solution and it now appears to work perfectly.

While Seb was mopping the oil (and the monkeys were sleeping), I was outside trimming sails and setting our course. We were heading out between the islands of Sao Vencente and Santo Antao and there was a strong acceleration effect causing gusts up to 35 knots. One of these gusts also brought a change in wind direction of 30 degrees and caused us to gibe. The mainsail also tried to gibe but fortunately it was blocked (as always) by a sturdy preventer. The pressure from the gibe did however break the block on the mainsail sheet and the remaining sharp edges sheared through the mainsheet. And it happened in seconds.

The block and mainsheet have now been fixed and we are cruising along with 15-20 knots of wind coming in at 150 degrees, the waves are relatively comfortable now and the sun is shining. We are following the rhumb-line course to Suriname, are making good progress and have started to enjoy ourselves. Emma and I made necklaces inside (thanks to Riet and Marcel for the materials) and Seb and Macsen sat outside making drawings. Not bad so far.

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1 comment:

  1. Good luck the upcoming week guys. Will think of you.