Leg 1 Las Palmas to Cape Verde – First 5 days at sea

When I write this we still have got 250 Nm to Mindelo in Cape Verde and have right now a very nice sail in 6 knots flat down wind and our sails are set “wing on wing”. Sunny weather 25degrees.

Leg one is from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria to Mindelo, Cape Verde. We expect to arrive on Sunday 18 if we get wind enough. The next leg restart is 21 Nov and we expect 14-20 days to sail across the Atlantic to Rodney Bay in St Lucia, Caribbean.

Let’s start from the beginning of our Atlantic crossing with ARC+

Sunday 11 November – First day at sea.

Morning shower for all the crew. Then the shower pump did not evacuate the shower water and we had 20 l of shampoo water in the shower cabin. 5 hours to start. And we might need to install a new electric shower pump! I do not have this kind of pump onboard. Its Sunday morning and everything is closed. I What’s-up a service technician from RolNautico who come onboard and fixed the problem. Solved 2 hours before the start. Now I got a spare pump onboard.

We leave the mooring in Las Palmas and head out to the start line with 75 other ARC+ yachts.

We set sail 20 minutes before the start and start to circle and wait for the start signal. Then the second problem of the day. The outhaul on the boom for the main sail need another shackle to prevent the sail to share against the traveller block. I got it onboard and 10 minutes before start we need to furl in the main sail and ad the shackle on the boom.

One minute before start signal was the new shackle in place and we furled out the main sail just before we crossed the start line. We passed very close to the big orange tugboat that was the start vessel and made a good start.

All boats headed directly east away from Gran Canaria to get some more stable wind and avoid the acceleration zones between the islands. There is also a big wind shadow south of Gran Canaria causing a big area with almost any wind. You do not want to get stuck in that!

We continued to sail more to the east during the first night heading as much south east we could without risk jibing. The wind was light breeze 10-12 knots and a bit too weak for our 30-ton heavy Mon Ami. We did only 4-5 knots and in a to big angle towards our first leg finish line in Mindelo, Cape Verde. In the morning we find our self’s only 40 Nm from Morocco. And we had lost a lot of speed during that first night.

Monday 12 November – Second day at sea.

In the morning we turn around and head more south west but are not able to point direct on to Mindelo without the risk to jibe. We are very happy that Louise precooked many dishes food when we still were moored in the marina. The sea are very bumpy but we could just put a nice pasta gratin in the oven and did not need stay below to cook.

We run the water maker to make drinking water from the sea but there come to water from the tap??? I check that the water maker is still running and indicating its producing 40 l per hour – but where does the water go? I check in the engine room and find water. First taste – Its fresh water, fine we are not sinking, it must come from the water maker. I find a hose popped out of its plastic connection. A special connection that I do not have onboard. I think the hose must have been pulled out when we installed an additional battery. Luckely I managed to push it back and connect it. Now the water maker is fine. We run it one hour per day and produce 40-50 litres good tasting water.

The night was very rolly sea with waves diagonal on top of the big 4 meter swells. No moon and very dark. Mats had to take the night shift for both Sara and Louise. It was a loooong night.

The saloon look like a disaster after this night sail.

Tuesday 13 November – Third day at sea

We changed the sail setting to wing-on-wing with the main and head sails on different sides. Now we could point direct on out target finish line in Mindelo. Mon Ami was much more stable in the sea.

We found that the kick rod bracket on the boom was broken so we had to release it. No major problem I hope. We have early detected some chafe on lines that we have protected, moved or put on blocks. In the evening I found some diesel on the flour in the engine room. No problem but im very happy I didn’t get sea sick standing on all four drying up the diesel in this swell.

The night was fantastic! Wing-on-wing was perfect and very smooth. The wind had increased and we made up to 9 knots before we took in a reef.

Wednesday 14 November. – Day 4 at sea.

Now we have set the watch system. 3 hours at night and 4 hours at daytime.

Louise and Sara got the nice start and end of the night and I and Bjorn share the middle of the night.

The ladies do some more cooking instead.

Watch keeping system at Mon Ami

18:00 Dinner and washing up

19:00 – 22:00 Sara

22:00 – 01:00 Bjorn

01:00 – 04:00 Mats

04:00 – 07:00 Louise

Every morning at 10:00 have we an SSB radio call to the other ARC+ boats and get their position.

We have passed 6 other boats during this nights sailing! Very nice.

Thursday 15 November – Day 5 at sea.

Animal day! We got company of dolphins, jellyfish, and flying fish. In long distant we see big water splash far up in the sky as whale or killer whale is hunting.

We see one or two boats per day normally in the horizon, still there are 75 ARC+ yachts heading the same way. Today we passed close to another Swedish sailing boat named Matilda from Stockholm. We called them on VHF and that are 2 young men and one girlfriend heading for the island Sale in Cape Verde. Nice to be able to talk Swedish over the VHF radio.

The night is calm, and we make 5,5 knots average. Not too much swell.

Friday 16 November – Day 6 at sea.

Very nice sunny morning. Its warmer now when we are more south. The water temperature in Las Palmas was 22 degrees and now we got 24,5! Very nice especially at night.

We found a dead dry flying fish on deck this morning.

I missed to release a rubber chafe protection from the outhaul line to the main sail and it got stuck in the block. Bjorn got a good physical training pass to release it and change to a new block.

Now have the wind speed decreased to calm wind only 6 knots and we make only 4 knots speed. Sails and rig are very noisy and it’s frustrating as we need to gain some better position in the race.

Still it’s a good opportunity to update our blog. I hope you enjoy it.

Sara and Bjorn watch Netflix and Louise try to get some sleep.

Position N 19, 28 W 21, 53 234 Nm to go to Cape Verde.

Best regards from Mats and Crew of Mon Ami of Sweden

One thought on “Leg 1 Las Palmas to Cape Verde – First 5 days at sea

  • Hej på havet!Hoppas allt är bra med er, kul att höra om allt som händer. Känner igen beskrivningen på flygfisken, stackare som inte förstår bättre. Själv har jag precis kommit hem från vandring i Nerja, skönt och varmt.Segla lungt och hälsa alla, kram


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