Departure Day – Off to where the butter melts
Sat Dec 11 2021
We have left the Marina in Santa Cruz this morning after an insanely busy day yesterday! For some reason we had decided that the day before our departure would be the day to install a new exhaust system for our generator…
So despite the boat looking a total mess until 9:30pm, we somehow managed to get ourselves and the boat ready to head out for 6 days of offshore sailing! I even managed to prepare some food for us, a nice lentil soup and a curry are waiting for us on the stove. We’ve done all provisioning (incl. Atlantic crossing) in Santa Cruz. There’s food squirreled away in every corner of the boat and I hope I don’t forget where I put the Sriracha Sauce …
The seastate was a bit rough in the beginning and within the first 30min of leaving we had a massive wave break into our cockpit. Being soaked in saltwater at the beginning of the trip is not what you wish for.
As I write this we are sailing down the coast of Tenerife with 23kn at 150* we are flying at 8.7kn! Today is an incredibly beautiful clear day and we can see Mount Teide in its full glory, no cloud in sight! It’s sunny and warm, so thankfully the cockpit and we are all dried up again.
We should reach the Southern tip of the island in a couple of hours, where we’ll catch up with our buddyboat Ryanne and Miles from SV Bouzy, heading the same way! It’s exciting to finally be sailing together but I must remind Jan that it’s not a race
We’re just rrrreally excited right now to finally be heading towards new shores! More from us tomorrow x Jessie
Day 1- A bit of everything
Sun Dec 12 2021
The first 24 hours of our passage down to the Cape Verdes have past and one could say that we have had a bit of everything already: the first 18 hours of the trip we were averaging 7,3 knots with a top speed of 12,1 knots (of course coming down a wave) and winds up to 27 knots. Wow, if only one could dictate the winds After that around 2am the wind constantly dropped to around 7 knots on the aft beam so we changed course and headed straight to Africa to keep moving.
With less wind the rolling started and it became difficult to get some sleep. As usual I only slept an hour on the first night of a passage. The excitement, the motion and thoughts about the upcoming days keep me awake: have we thought of everything? Did we download weather? What will the sea state be like? And so forth…
it usually gets much better on the second night!
We knew that the wind would slowly decrease during our passage down south and that it was a somewhat close call to not run out of wind. However, it looks like it is still a bit lighter than forecasted and what was supposed to be a 5-6 day passage is probably going to be 7-8. Well nevertheless it is beautiful out here. We currently found some breeze and are cruising wing on wing at 5,5 knots. Let’s hope it stays like this.
We will keep you updated tomorrow!
Happy Sunday everyone,
Day 2 – We found wind!
Sun Dec 12 2021
After a really slow start this morning the wind finally picked up again in the afternoon and increased at night so we were able to make good speed again. With that the whole thing just becomes more comfortable, less rolling, less collapsing, clashing and banging of the sails. With calmer seas, we’re even getting good sleep while going 6kn avg.
It’s 11pm now, Jan is finally getting some rest down below as I sit in our cockpit a bit jaded of my downloaded Podcasts, simply listening to the waves around us for a moment. It’s a beautiful night, the moon shines it’s silver light and I can see stars all around us. Looking out on our port side I can see Orion hunting across the night sky. Following the three stars of Orions belt down to the next brightest star Sirius, the Dog Star! Now looking for the next brightest star another couple of stars down 1, 2, 3,… and oh yes there she is, twinkling above us every night: Adhara ! <3
Day 3 – Just cruisin
Mon Dec 13 2021
It’s day 3 for the two of us on board Adhara.
It looks like we have found the current which flows along the African coast southwards towards the Cape Verdes and gives us an extra boost of 0.5 to 1 knots. I know it does not sound much but over the time of 4 days a 1 knot difference in average speed can mean that you arrive a day earlier – or later.
So, since last night we were cruising at around 6 knots which is great considering we only have 10 to 14 knots from behind. The waves and the current do the rest. Even better it looks like we will be able to stay in this pressure almost all the way down to the Cape Verdes when it probably will get very light at the end.
By now Jessie and I have grown into the routine of life on board: We eat well (with the occasional snack alarm in between), listen to a lot of podcasts and even had a shower today. Oh yeah and I destroyed Jessie in a game of battle ship
This morning was wonderful as I was greeted by Dolphins around the boat at sunrise and we even saw whale spouts in the distance. The weather so far is fantastic and we can feel it slowly getting warmer.
Ah @ family and friends: either nobody is writing us or your messages are not going through
Day 4 – Under attack 💫
Tue Dec 14 2021
First of all, I shouldn’t let Jan use the Iridium so often. Second, I challenged him to another round of Battle Ships yesterday where my strategy outsmarted his by lightyears and so it’s 1:1 as of now. Now I have been mentally preparing for today’s Grand Finale all morning.
Are we getting bored? Not really!
We’re making good speed and reached half way point some hours ago. The nights are still cold, I wear my full offshore outfit on my night watches. So the feeling of „sailing along the African coast“ hasn’t really sunk in.
Alone in the cockpit, at around 3 am this morning I heard myself cry out „WHAT THE F*CK !!“. As the sky suddenly lit up as if struck by lightning and the glowing tail of a massive shooting star slowly faded away.
That must have been the start signal for what was to follow. All around us, mere seconds apart it started to shower shooting stars. There were so many, sometimes two right next to each other it felt unreal and the thought of an alien attack crossed my mind.
Suddenly I see little light bursts in the water, then a dolphin jumps out in front of our bow, spinning and landing on its back sending of a firework of bioluminescence in the black waves. Here I am, grinning stupidly into the night whispering „is this real?“
Ocean sailing is… just freakin magic !
Day 4 – Right on course
Tue Dec 14 2021
It happened: Jessie is the official “Adhara Battleship World Champion 2021”! Congrats my love! In a very tight and even finale Jessie beat me with a genius strike to my only remaining Fregatte on E7.
Other than that we have gybed which took us almost an hour with the rerigging of the pole on the other side and changing all the lines. However we have been rewarded with sweet sailing now straight on course doing 6-7 knots.
We have discovered our first problem with chafing: During the past rather light and inconsistent days the genoa sheet has been shaving quite a bit where it leads through the pole. We will have to think of something for the Atlantic crossing.
Other than that everything is relaxed on Adhara. The ETA on the plotter changes from Thursday to Friday to Saturday depending whether going down or coming up a wave spirits are high and weather is great so far. We are expecting some rain and light winds on arrival but hopefully it will be warm enough to jump from the boat.
Day 5 – 200nm to go
Wed Dec 15 2021
Right now we are 260nm off the African coast and have some 200nm to Cape Verde on front of us. ETA Friday morning!
Last night was peaceful and smooth sailing with winds occasionally up to 20kn but mostly around 12-14kn averaging 6.8kn of speed with the current giving us a nice push from behind.
This time, a not so magical incident at night: I heard a pretty loud thud on our deck quite close to where I was sitting in the cockpit. I jumped and looked in the direction to see something moving in the dark … a pretty large flying fish had landed on our deck and it scared the shit out of me !! I quickly helped the guy back in the water and hope the next one doesn’t have a better aim and jumps into our cockpit !
There’s also quite a lot of Cargo traffic along the African coast and at one point we could see ships as far as the Canary Islands! With that comes also more traffic on Channel 16. At 1am, I was just sitting st the Nav Station about to write a log when a funny sounding voice crackled on our VHF „Hello? Monkey? Where are the monkeys?“ and another responded in a singing voice „All the monkeys are sleeping sleeping, tomorrow you gotta bring some banana banana…“
No idea if there’s a secret message hidden in the monkey song or just some ludicrous fishermen having a blast. But it made me laugh for sure!
Speaking of secret messages…
Friends! We’ve received some messages fully, some only partially (Simon, den Witz bitte nochmal schicken!) and if we haven’t answered it’s because we don’t know who’s writing !!
Please add your name or E-Mail address if you’re texting to us from the iridium messenger website … oh and there’s no need to send us „test test“ messages …
It’s lovely to hear from you, we hope you enjoy these updates !
Arrival Day – 99 miles to go
Thu Dec 16 2021
We are on our home stretch!
Well, after we rigged the pole on the other side to find out that the wind had actually shifted even more easterly and we could really sail without the pole now on a nice beam reach towards Sal. So I got Jessie out of her cozy bed again and we took the pole down. Ups
We have had wonderful conditions so far. Basically no clouds for 5 days, a rising full moon which lights up the night and some crazy starry nights and shooting stars after the moon went down. The wind was more on the low side which made the ride quite comfortable for most of the journey and we are still averaging above 6 knots.
For the last night the wind will drop to under 10 knots which means that we will not arrive before sunset. We will probably bob around for the night sailing slowly and wait for the sun to rise before going into the anchorage in Sal. The bouys are apparently not well marked and you can never spot the fishing pots around the island in the dark.
Other than that we have had 3 flying fish and one little squid on deck so far. They must be fleeing from predators or something and not look what’s ahead of them
Speaking of predators, we have had the most amazing encounter with a huge pod of pilot whales yesterday. I guess they were passing us to find some squids. Anyway they came really close to the boat and stayed for 20 minutes, chasing us.
Looking forward to a cold one with our friends in Sal!
Have a good one,
Arrival and the last couple of hours
Thu Dec 16 2021
LAND HO! We just dropped the anchor in Bahia de Palmira, it’s pretty dark still so we we’ll wake up tomorrow to a surprise
The last couple of hours were a bit of a surprise too, the wind wasn’t at all what was predicted. Instead of light winds we had rain clouds with shifting winds all over the place gusting over 20kn. So instead of “bobing around and wait til sunrise” we were making such good speed with super comfortable 7kn of sailing that we just didn’t want to push back our arrival until the morning. Visibility at night wasn’t too bad with an almost full moon, even despite the clouds. We also had friends waiting for us in the anchorage giving us a heads up – merci
Both of us haven’t really been able to sleep today, maybe because of the excitement to “almost be there” so without further delay: good night, buenas noches, adios amigos – see you over on Instagram in the next couple of days for a recap of this trip in pictures and videos