Did I say the trades are back a few days ago? Well that was short lived... after dealing with rain and thunder squalls all day yesterday (and actually making good progress) we were becalmed 14 hrs during last night. Now there is a gentle 10 knots of true wind from behind which only gets us about 4.5 kn of boat speed with ~420 nm to go to Antigua - and even the occasional squalls don't provide much of a push currently... hence our ETA now has slipped to Thursday morning.
Wow - an unusual view this morning: shortly after sunrise we had a pod of 4-5 whales (type to be determined, each one approx the length of our boat) swimming approx. 20m off Namani's beam before crossing our bow and disappearing into the distance. Quite an awesome sight - if a bit close for comfort though... With a good 24 hr run behind us and approx. 625 nm to go we're still hoping for 12DEC arrival - stay tuned...
Finally... this is what we imagined it to be all along: 15-20 knots from the ENE, a gentle and long Atlantic swell and sunny skies with lots of cumulus and the occasional squall - let's hope it stays this way until Antigua! Between contrary winds, being becalmed and some technical problems we are now looking at a 26 day passage (vs the hoped for 21-23 days), hoping to get into Antigua on Wednesday, 12DEC. In any case - all is well aboard, Nicky continues to enjoy his Lego and Peter, Nana and Markus enjoy the tropical sun.
Oh boy what happened to the trade winds?? After the first week of hunting them south of the Canaries it looked like they had finally moved in for good but 3 days ago the weather has started playing havoc with our progress again - everything from contrary winds to totally becalmed and nothing of that nice ENE at 20kn from behind... Our ETA in Antigua has now slipped to Wed, 12DEC which in face of current weather forecasts might still prove a challenge.
Hello from the Atlantic where we have been heading west since last Wednesday (21NOV), when the tradewinds finally settled in again. After 24 hours of very confused seas we're now in a pattern of good sailing days with squally nights. Continued rolling in cross swells makes life aboard a bit strenuous as you cannot put down anything e.g. for cooking without it flying off some surface in the next big wave and you permanently have to wedge yourself somewhere below decks while brushing teeth, washing dishes etc.
A quick message from the Atlantic, still heading SSW to reach the tradewinds that are forecasted to have re-established themselves on Thursday when a low and associated cold-front off the Canaries and Madera finally crumbles and high pressure moves in north of us... about 2500 nm to go to Antigua, all is well aboard... finished the last of our fresh meat supplies yesterday, now hoping for the fish to bite to save us from the cans ;-) ... stay tuned for further updates...
A quick update from aboard Namani... we left Lanzarote yesterday at 1430 utc and are now heading towards the Cape Verde Islands with about 2900 nm to go to Antigua. We're staying relatively far east to avoid SW winds generated by a low pressure system moving towards the Canaries and are currently in light variable winds under engine (after a good of sailing though). We hope to pick up the NE tradewinds around Wednesday next week ... stay tuned for further updates!
We are now planning on departing Lanzarote on Friday and since things might be quite busy tomorrow (Thursday) we thought we'd rather put in our "farewell post" from the Old World today. Peter will arrive tomorrow to join us for Atlantic leg and we're looking forward to seeing him again aboard Namani.
Ein neues Album "To and in Lanzarote" in der Photo Gallery, plus ein Update im Album "Krabbelgruppe at Sea"
To recap a little, the passage from Gibraltar to Lanzarote was 650 miles in 6 days. As soon as we reached the more open water of the Atlantic there was a difference - a much larger, but also longer swell than anything we had ever had in the Mediterranean. It took a few days to get used to the larger waves but the fact that they were widely spaced made them easier to handle.