As you read in the previous post, we finally arrive on the island of Gran Canaria and start to prepare for the next leg of the trip, Las Palmas to Cape Verde. We had such a great time here, especially since we met up with some old friends and also made some new ones.
Then we were excited about this next passage as we were going to celebrate Christmas on board in the middle of the sea!
This post is a part of the “Atlantic Crossing” series and if you haven’t read the previous ones, check them out below:
Departure Las Palmas
By Robin Iversen
Mon 20 Dec 2021 28 04.064 N 15 22.203W
We left Las Palmas Marina at 15:00 local time and have set a course toward Palmeira in Sal, Cape Verde. The weather forecast shows little wind for the first couple of days so we are going to be motoring until Wednesday when we hopefully catch the winds again and can set sail. This leg of the trip is 800NM and we expect to spend 7 days +/- 1 day.
Stay tuned for updates, we are spending Christmas onboard offshore this year!
By Robin Iversen
Tue Dec 21 2021 25 59.246N 16 36.347W
Good evening! We just enjoyed the most beautiful sunset in calm conditions while sailing 5 knots with dolphins playing and jumping around the boat. We motored for the first 20 hours or so and actually got a slight breeze of 7-10 knots wind which we have enjoyed since. That was unexpected!
It is slowing down to about 5-6 knots at the moment so I hope it will pick up so we can sail throughout the night. We should get decent NE wind tomorrow at noon. Crossed fingers.
Temperature is about 18-19 degrees at night and 20-22 during the day. The Swell is long and chill. In other words, super smooth conditions. I read my book in the hammock on deck for a few hours earlier.
Karolius is working on his tan, but getting redder than tan by the looks of it. Filly is still adjusting to doing 4-hour watches and has been a bit tired during the day. Now she is in the galley doing some cooking magic. All in all, life is great onboard. Oh, and I just put a new line and lure on the fishing rod, maybe we’ll catch something for tomorrow’s lunch. The VHF sounds like an Arabic talk show so I plan on putting on some music instead. Have a good night!
PS: We can receive SMS on our satellite number that you can find above this map (sailingellidah.com/status)! Great in case you want to wish us Merry Christmas.
By Robin Iversen
(Uploaded one day late due to technical issues)
Thu Dec 23 2021 23 44.132N 18 22.832W
The wind showed up and lasted throughout last night before it calmed down in the morning. We sat the Gennaker sail and managed to do pretty decent speed anyway and it seems that we got some current with us which is nice!
I tested one of my new fishing lures and had it out most of the day. When I reeled it in later in the evening, there was a small Tuna on it! We didn’t notice, probably put the brake on too tight.
Last evening the wind picked up again after sunset and we have done good speed since then. Lost one navigation light and mounted a temporary red light. Broke the cockpit table. Replaced the mainsail outhaul (while sailing with it up!), it had chafed off the outer layer.
Things breaking isn’t anything new. All is well anyways.
By Ofêlie Quivron
Thu Dec 23 2021 22 44.772N 18 48.382W
As expected, the wind picked up during the night and we decided to get rid of the Gennaker and sail only with the Genoa through the night. We enjoyed a little movie night, even though it was probably the weirdest and worst movie we’ve seen in a while… In the morning, the wind calmed down a little and we set up the Gennaker again, after a few failed attempts. This big red balloon sail can be a bit intimidating to set up, but it is such a beauty. After that, we gave Ellidah a nice clean o she’s all nice and shiny and ready for our little Christmas celebrations onboard. Right now, Karolius is having a power nap, while our captain is practicing his guitar skills in front of the sunset. Life is good!
Day 5 – Christmas is here!
By Robin Iversen
Fri Dec 24 2021 21 14.389 20 05.881W
And so are the dolphins. I’ve never seen as many at the same time, and they have been playing around the boat all day. Probably 40-50 of them. All around us!
We tried to get a camera underwater to film, but we were doing 6.5-7.5 knots so the camera was hard to hold still. Got some good shots though, can’t wait to share them.
We still have good wind and the Gennaker is flying great. The swell is quite big (4-5m) and a few hours ago it started getting a bit messy. Nothing dramatic, just a bit rolley. The forecast tells us that the swell is flattening out and the wind will increase to 15-20 knots over the next few days which is excellent.
Tonight, we plan to hold hands, sing Christmas songs and dance wildly drunk around the mast after we decorate it with whatever we have that might look like Christmas decorations. Then we are going to see who can swim as fast as we are sailing, nude of course. After that, we will all fall asleep and leave Ellidah to herself.
Nah just kidding.
We’re having a Christmas dinner, sharing a bottle of wine, and probably playing a few rounds of cards in the cockpit while watching the sunset. The Christmas meal will hopefully be tuna, but I am working on catching it still. If Neptune won’t serve us, we’ll make marinated pork filet with oven-baked garlic potatoes and pepper sauce. Not bad, right?
We forgot to download any Christmas playlists (thank almighty for that), but if anyone wants to spread some Christmas love, feel free to send some lyrics and guitar chords over and I will make my best to make it sound halfway like a song. Maybe Filly is a better singer than me, I don’t want to scare away the dolphins. Our sat number can be found on top of the map so send us a Christmas greeting and we will certainly reply!
Btw, you can send us SMS from IridiumGo’s web page for free.
Ellidah wants a new nav light for Christmas, the port one drowned the other day. (If you feel giftful, head to “support us”)
Anyways, have a great celebration and enjoy! Much love from the three of us about 300NM from Cape Verde.
Atlantic sea, west Africa, middle of nowhere.
By Karolius Nordlund
Sat Dec 25 2021 19 01.450N 21 41.803W
Update by the Red Flying Rescuer and his reindeers (detour to Brazil with presents, explaining the position, still headed to the North Pole, no worries)!
Ho-ho-ho, you’ll never believe what I just witnessed on my way over the sky! 200 NM (400 km) west of Senegal, in the middle of the sea, a sailing boat with three persons, was rolling around in heavy swell, singing songs and worshipping a red mushroom apparently known as a Gennaker sail.
Today on my way down to the South Pole (no plausible explanation here, but I guess I didn’t go to North Pole just yet) they looked a bit tired by yesterday’s heavy swell at night.
Nevertheless, at noon, they once again put up this red giant sail, 3 times bigger than their boat. Now, I’m mostly into sleds and reindeer, but Rudolf explained that the Gennaker is like a thin sail so it can hang in the air in lower winds than the Genoa which requires more wind to actually be functional. Both placed at the very front of the boat. However, too much wind will either rip the Gennaker or in the worst case flip the boat over, same with the Genoa, only the Genoa is slightly easier to adjust and roll in, and can handle some heavy wind, especially since Robin bought new ones and installed them in Gibraltar. Gibraltar is British… Hold on. Getting off track am I not… Big sail. Red. You’ll get pictures later on.
So today at 5 pm, 1700 LT or 1800 UTC + 1 West European Middle time, whatever you prefer, their captain R practiced some hand steering and got the boat surfing 9 knots down-wave (from what I saw. Could be another explanation). Not more later than 7.65 seconds later, they experienced gust on 20-25 knots (10-12m/s) apparent wind, 10 knots too much for their Gennaker.
Filly was deep into making bracelets, and their super fantastic 3r crew, Mr. K the Cool Comet from Holm, was finishing his book when Robin, due to gusts, was not able to counter-steer the boat. I’ll get into counter steer and aerodynamics on sails and rudder with hydrodynamic forces and so on.
He was trying to steer. Period. And the boat heeling 45 degrees (45 is like holding fast with both hands trying not to fall into the sea with both feet in the air, I am told) obviously struggling in the conditions. Suddenly the sheets snapped off… Well, sheets are the ropes you “steer” the sails with, from the cockpit. Without these, or this as in single if… Ahhh, getting off track again.
Soo, the ropes holding the sail out in the wind, snapped (Time was not going slow at this point). And the boat with the crew was out of danger. With no sheets the sail had no forces pushing or pulling, it was just hanging, the speed dropped like a rock and all they got was an oversized kite flopping around like a giant dragon in the sky.
This was the time I flew past them and the Gennaker flopping around in the air hooked to my sled, (that’s how big it is…) causing my supersonic multidrop on the hooves for steering-deer Raymond, the 789th inline (it’s a thing, I promise). My sled got damaged and the Gennaker got shredded, so cpt. Robin is holding me in custody until my elves compensate him with 6 boxes of Toffefe and a couple of Snickers, forcing me to write an update. Captain Robin has pictures if you don’t believe me.
At least they managed to get the Gennaker back in the boat using their super sailing skills and cucumber-coolness, but that’s a story for another time.
PS: They will probably deny what happened or have a slightly different story. They are all lying. I promise.
By Ofêlie Quivron
Sun Dec 26 2021 17 37.252N 22 59.476W
Hey, sorry for the late daily update, but we’ve all been deeply connected to our thoughts and conversations today, and I guess… A little disconnected from the land.
Seeking happiness has been the main topic, and with the help of our respective personal development readings, we came to the point that it’s all about the journey and not the destination. Sounds familiar… I guess it’s the exact reason why we’re here, crossing the ocean on a sailboat!
The Gennaker probably got sick and tired of our cheap philosophers’ talk and decided to fly out as the wind increased. Reminding us that it isn’t that easy. The famous red giant got wounded by doing so… Nothing too bad but we probably will have to seek for a sail doctor once we get to land so it can get a few stitches and recover before crossing the pond. We sailed all day and night on the more friendly Genoa and kept a good speed as the wind increased a bit today.
It’s already the last night watch round of this leg, and we can already feel the African vibes calling from a distance. So, it’s not about the destination… But we’re still pretty keen to discover what Cape Verde will bring us (probably starting with some good rest for the boys who struggled to fall asleep in the big washing machine, while I slept like a baby).
Looking forward to experiencing some land sickness (opposite from seasickness), for those who don’t know, it’s like having 12 beers and 10 glasses of rum and trying to walk straight, while actually being sober (*or almost). And definitely excited for the next passage.
Africa, here we come!
By Robin Iversen
Mon Dec 27 2021 16 45.187N 22 58.825W
We timed our arrival well and had land in sight earlier last night and arrived in Palmeira anchorage around 09:00. The seabed holding here is not the best and it took a few attempts to set the anchor properly. Here we are, about to have breakfast (Karolius is making omelet and bacon) while waiting for the Port Police to give us permission to come ashore and check into the country.
From Almerimar to Palmeira is about 1500 NM in a straight line. Since we are sailing, the actual sailed distance is longer. We still have a long way to go but are now looking forward to relaxing for a bit, before we head off to Mindelo in Sao Vicente.
This is Africa. TIA. Let’s see how long the check-in will take!
Thank you for reading these updates from our daily cruising log from Las Palmas to Cape Verde.
And a special thank’s to Filly for these great shots!
Have you ever been to Cape Verde and what was your favorite place?
Leave your comment below!
Stay tuned for the next part as we explore the little island of Sal before we head over to the more buzzing capital, Mindelo. Here we make the last provisioning and preparations for the grand trip across the Atlantic, leaving Africa behind with the course set towards the Caribbean.