Day 1: 12 October 2016
We departed El Hierro, Canary Islands at about 7 PM local time on 11 October. We were joined by three other kid boats departing at the same time (Sameera, Balenec & Kirikou). The passage from Canary Islands to Cape Verde Islands is about 780 miles and should take about 6-7 days, depending on the wind conditions. We decided to depart on the evening of the 11th to take advantage of good winds and to get another 60-100 miles further south (compared to leaving the next morning) as some fluky weather is forecast for the Canary Islands over the weekend. We were able to sail almost immediately after leaving the harbour and we relished the 15 knots of wind from the NNE (from behind us). Pushed along by the wind and a favourable current, we made good time all through the night until the winds became very light at about 9 AM on the 12th.
As our goal was to push southwards, we started the motor and steamed south most of the day in very light tail winds and fairly calm seas. It was a nice, but fairly uneventful day. The kids did some schoolwork, we fished (but did not catch — although one lure was missing, so that should be a good sign!), and cooked some good food. A breakfast of “birds nests” nourished the the hungry crew. Cocktail hour was observed with a mix of cold tropical juices and lemon soda, and topped off with large wedges of fresh limes. A dinner of “Laridae’s famous veggie chilli” concluded the evening. The kids pulled out their sea charts and started logging our (slow) progress towards the Cape Verde Islands with notes and drawings along our path. Our 24 hour run from 7 PM to 7 PM was 142 miles.
As the sun set, the winds kicked in a little, just as forecast. We are presently sailing with about 10-12 knot following breeze and are VERY happy to have the engine off after 10 hours of motoring. The forecast is for about 48 hours of 8-12 knot winds, then getting light again. More updates to come on Day 2! 🙂