Day 10 – Monday 28 November
Nous avons eu du gros temps the first 2 days but then it has been a lot of motoring until yesterday. Very patchy wind but cruising nicely now with the code 0.
We had a couple misapp on thanksgiving day last Thursday after catching a nice Mahi Mahi our code 0 Hallyard broke at the top of the mast and it was too rough to climb. Then our mainsail outhaul line broke an hour later tearing our lazy bag completely. We removed it and reattached the main right away and fixed our hallyard the next day but we heard enough swearing from Jim to last us the rest of the trip as it was still very rolly.
Otherwise everything is fine with the crew and we make some really nice meal to keep the spirit up. Looking forward to a nice rum punch or 2!
Day 11 – Tuesday 29 November
JoJo has reached our imaginary halfway on a most beautiful day around midday today, Nov 29. Our midday sight was 19 10 36N, 37 03 08W. NO WIND AT ALL!
Highlights at midday today – Tasmanian Whiskey,- whale sighted, rafted up with Sacre Bleu for exchange of water (Thanks Jim and Val) and share some beers. Peeled off and drifted and swam together for about one hour… magical. Sacre Bleu are in good form.
No wind today and does not look like some for a few days at the least… This was not in the brochure!!!!!
JoJo Stats as of noon today. Av speed 5.7 Engine hrs, 171!!! One engine at a time – 2 x Yanmar 18hp. av speed under power 5knts. Fuel used 290ltrs Fuel remaining 250ltrs
Calculate 6 days remaining fuel for motoring. Plan to motor for 3 days if needed unless wind eventuates and then sail/drift the remainder keeping 3 days in reserve. Looking out for the local BP service station!!! Praying for wind.
Damage – blew head out of gennaker yesterday, resultant rip in same when retreaving from water – repaired and flewn again with gusto!! Jobs – fitting of new shade cover over cockpit and chaffe protection on spreaders. Crew busy yesterday. Electric toilet power issue – repaired.
Crew in great spirits – spirits (alcoholic) in dwindling supplies! Both related facts. Crew therefore driven by smell of rum punch drifting in what little breeze we have from the west.
Day 13 – Thursday 1 December
We have decided to stop at Mindelo to get some diesel and a proper repair for our main sail, if possible. The two sailmakers in tenerife were too busy to help us, so we fixed it ourselves but are not sure if it is good enough for the long crossing.
Lilli is back on track !
We finished the installation of our new autopilot on Tuesday and left Mindelo yesterday at 1430 UTC heading 263° to Barbados. Since then we had a really calm time, except for the noise from the engine We did catch some nice wind during the night and managed to sail for a few hours at 5-6 knots.
With the current forecast it will be quite a while before we arrive in Barbados. We keep our fingers crossed for more wind, also for everybody who is ahead of us.
Day 14 – Friday 2 December
THE TRADES WINDS
Yesterday we had for the first time in days a sprout of constant wind. During the day very fieble, then at night increasingly significant. The direction and the force let us think we finally met the distinguished Trade Winds, so we set the front sails wing-on-wing to catch them at best – hopefully we’ll be able to keep this setting until we get to Barbados.
Today is the 14th day of navigation and we find ourselves quite adapted to the passage lifestyle. The most difficult aspect is the constant rolling, that makes any activity difficult to complete, such as cooking, sleeping, or simply walking. While at the beginning we had to force ourselves to do things anyway now it is becoming much more natural.
The temperature is rapidly increasing, giving us a tangible proof that we are getting closer to the equator; as a matter of fact we are only 15° N to it!
Gorm den Gamle
We are leaving tomorrow at noon. Freja, Itchy Foot, Anyway and Gorm den Gamle together. Wind looks better now and we hope for a good crossing.
Day 15 – Saturday 3 December
All is fine now … Gorm den gamle, Anyway, Itchy foot and Freja are now under Sails towards Barbados!!! See you soon!
Sorry to be silent. We were very busy fixing things and discussing when to leave. On the AIS now is Grim, Freja, Anyway, and Itchy Foot. Auriga waved us off today and hope to leave on Tuesday, or so!
Day 16 – Monday 4 December
On your marks…again…
We really liked what we saw of the Cape Verde islands, and it was wonderful to enjoy a taste of Africa. Also it was amazing to have so many kids around for Teo to play with, he spent lots of time with the kids from Gorm den Gamle and Freya. They visited each other, had movie dates and we even went to the beach. When it was hard to match Danish and English they played LEGO or Minecraft or did some fishing.
And we also finally connected with kids from Emerald Bay, Blue Zulu and Dana de Mer which was great because English made it easier for Teo to talk to kids his own age as well. We had another trip to the beach and we had a ball swimming with the dogs and making survival bracelets. Teo is spending time with so many amazing kids!
As much as we liked the place and all the fun we had, the wind forecast was good and it was time to go! We arranged to leave with four other boats (Freya, Gorm den Gamle, Anyway and Hakuna Matata) at noon, our Atlantic Odyssey, Take Two. Emerald Bay, Blue Zulu and Dana de Mer had similar plans and we hope to see more of them over there!
Our first day was mostly unsettled winds, confused seas and more bumps and bruises. It is very nice to have contact with the other boats and we spoke about sail configuration and our routes. It’s fun to be in contact and at night to see everyone’s lights.
The unsettled sea state also pushed the melons too far and they beat up all the other fruit and veg in the net. A papaya took it particularly badly and exploded everywhere. The melons have been separated and are having a time out until they can learn to behave and play nicely with others.
We had some wind shifts in the night but are back on a good course this morning. We have just put out our fishing line and checked our progress which is drum roll please…130 nautical miles in the last (a little less than) 24 hours
1200 MILES TO GO!
Days now go by in a routinely manner, having the long waited Trade Wind stably blowing from ENE between 15 and 20 knots. This means little activity is required to adjust the sails, apart from the moments when the wind reinforces for a few hours, or thudersqualls reach us. In fact, we have the radar always on to detect on time an approaching squall; sometimes we are able to escape it, other times we prepare to face it (by partially rolling the sails and closing the cockpit with the lateral protections).
We are about to finish our fruit and fresh vegetable reserve, that lasted more than two weeks even thanks to the vacuum system we used to seal some of it. The last apple is kept for tomorrow…
We have become quite expert in cooking pasta in tomato sauce without boiling it in the water. We also use a lot the pressure pan so we are able to make an effective use of water and gas. Similarly, we made our personal record in getting a full shower with body and hair cleaning using only 5 liters of water!!! Still talking about resources, we are consuming more energy than we can produce with the wind generator (Windy – which works really well) and the solar panels that are hindered by the constantly cloudy sky. The main energy dragger is the electric autopilots, though it provides a more accurate steering than “Pippo”, the wind vane. At night we often choose to switch to the electric autopilot, with the need to turn on the diesel generator the next morning. In the future we will need to rethink our energy system.
We are still eagerly scanning the horizon in search of sea creatures, but apart from a few birds and flying fishes we cannot report any spotting. We concluded, with a wise motto, that the sea creatures live below the sea surface.
Day 17 – Tuesday 5 December
All on JoJo is well and happy … spirits remain high though ‘spirits’ (namely our dearest Captain Morgan) have all but jumped ship!!!!
Fishing has been our greatest dissapointment since midway point … 3 flying fish, each on separate occassions …bread also ran out yesterday … where is Jesus when you need him to make 1 flying fish and a bread roll feed a hungry crew.
Roast turkey for Sunday lunch yesterday with self saucing chocolate pudding and custard. We all lay back and dosed like pigs under a tree in the afternoon.
Food and water supplies very good. Almost ate last of fresh vegetables yesterday Day 16!! One avacado, one cucumber, onions, potatos and fruit remaining fresh.
I am very happy with progress but have hit a hole in the wind paddock again since lunchtime yesterday. Motor sailing again with our light gennaker just filling.
Beautiful night skies and a sunrise this morning that would make me millions if I could bottle it up and sell it on ebay:)
The crew are a great mix … 2 Austrians, one South African and me the Aussie … all global problems have been solved, even rewritten history … Austria has been voted the best country in the world (Vote count … 2/1/1) … no children onboard but imagine children on board and then give them rum!!! Only jokes but I have been much amused and entertained at times.
Some stats: 0845 UTC Dec 5 Dist to Dest: (South of Barbados) 520miles Dist from Dep: 2176 miles
Damage: nil since last report.
Home improvements: upgrade helm seat, genaral housework and organisation.
Headache for Captain: Starboard electrical system low voltage (maybe 25 year old wires) or just electrckery!!!!
Fuel remaining: 70 ltres plus an oily rag!!!!
Current wind – less than E 7knts
Will have to average over 6 knts to make it in on time on Thursday Dec 8 PM for customs. Motor sailing will soon not be an option so relaying on wind that does not look fantastic to make that speed .. fingers crossed. Otherwise 9th … hopefully not 10th!
Jimmy is right … windgenerator acts only as an attractive accessory when sailing downwind.
Hanging in There, and Hanging On
We logged 130 nautical miles and our little fleet have been sticking together. It’s nice to hear how everyone is getting on and Hakuna Matata play us their song every day. Plus the kids check on each other on the VHF radio. We had a nice sunshiny afternoon and there was some napping because none of us slept great the night before. We saw some sea birds and continue to try to help with the research (www.birdingaboard.org) but it is hard to get decent photographs. We also had a micro visit from dolphins, we believe they are coming back tomorrow. Also, the fish are waiting for tomorrow which is nice because it is too rolly to clean them…
I would like to share Teo’s radio call just now. “This is Itchy Foot, we are having a party onboard with flashing lights and everything. Everyone is invited. I repeat, nevermind. OVER”. I am not sure the RYA would approve, but it is a start.
I think everyone has been stealing a little extra sleep, keeping your balance with all the rocking and rolling takes its toll… This morning we listened to loud music and Jon made bread, yum yum, the smell of fresh baking bread is divine!! We are working our way through the melon carnage so it was banana pancakes and Elvis specials (grilled banana and peanut butter sandwiches) for lunch. I don’t think any of us will be gaunt by the time we arrive.
Attached is a picture Teo drew of all the boats in out little fleet, Barbados 50, Fleet 3.
MITTEN auf dem Atlantik – Halbzeit
Heute feiern wir Bergfest. 1.500sm liegen hinter uns. Wir hoffen, dass wir für die zweite Hälfte besseren Wind haben und deutlich weniger Zeit brauchen. Wir haben bis jetzt ingesamt 5 Tage mit Flauten gekämpft. Das war ca. ein Drittel der Zeit die wir inzwischen unterwegs sind. Wir haben – zumindest geographisch – das Zentrum des Passatwindgürtel erreicht und die Tradewinds scheinen sich auch endlich zu erinnern mit welcher Richtung und Stärke sie um diese Jahreszeit eigentlich wehen sollen. Die Laune an Bord steigt schlagartig. Wir haben alle ein breites Grinsen im Gesicht als die Good Times mit über 6 Knoten durch den Atlantik pflügt. Endlich geht es voran.
Wenn wir über die letzten beiden Wochen zurückdenken wird uns immer mehr klar, dass man eine Ozean Überquerung im Gegensatz zum Segeln an der Küste nicht wirklich planen kann. Selbst der beste Wetterbericht nach dem man seine Abfahrt richtet gibt lediglich eine Idee für die nächsten 3 Tage. Genug wenn man von Hafen zu Hafen tingelt. Nahezu nutzlos wenn man nach dem Ablegen noch mindestens 3 Wochen offenen Ozean vor sich hat. Wenn man erst einmal abgelegt ist bleibt einem nur es zu nehmen wie kommt. Ein ungewohntes Erlebnis in einer Zeit in der man gewohnt ist im Alltag alles minutiös planen und kontrollieren zu können. Wir waren anfangs frustriert, genervt, gereizt. Wir waren es einfach nicht gewohnt an einer Situation nichts ändern zu können. Sie einfach hinzunehmen. Das macht demütig. Man merkt wer hier draussen der Chef ist. Irgendwann lassen wir uns einfach darauf ein. Lassen uns im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes treiben. Wir realisieren, dass es eigentlich keinen Unterschied macht ob wir ein paar Tage früher oder später auf der anderen Seite ankommen.
Nachdem die Hälfte jetzt geschafft ist werden wir aber doch wieder ein bisschen unruhig. Die Karibik liegt gefühlt zum Greifen nahe. Wir wollen ankommen!
Day 18 – Wednesday 6 December
DANCING RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN
Today we have reached the half way point between Cape Verde and Barbados, between Africa and America. The satellite phone abandoned its European companion to join the American star – in fact since a couple of days.
Yesterday we found in the pockets of our backpack a USB key with a fabulous selection of Italian music, which was a great change to the several CDs of classical music that we picked up when we left Rome. When we inserted the USB key in the radio we could not believe what hidden treasure we found. We spent hours singing and dancing in the cockpit “our” music from the 70’s and 80’s (video will follow). The rolling helped to keep the rhythm!
On avance comme on peu avec notre lourdeaude mais les 5 noeuds de moyenne sont difficiles à maintenir et on a eu une grosse période de pétole au large du Cap Vert.
Tout va bien sinon sur Thera, le soleil brille et la pêche est très bonne!
Day 19 – Thursday 7 December
Dawn just starting to show on 7th Dec, the only event last night being a yacht passing close in front of us, about a mile, that’s close out here! we had changed course slightly to assist, I called him 3 times on VHF but no answer.
Also that old faithful the generator has developed a problem whereby it only provides a third power with some slight shocks to anything switched on. We decided to rest it until we arrive as its not possible to do anything intricate whilst we rock and roll.
Had our first sunny day for a long while yesterday which enabled us to sit in the cockpit instead of being bounced around in the saloon, what a difference. Still hoping for 14th for arrival but the downwind rig is pushing us along at about 5.3 knots. Winds are Just S of East or just N of East about 15 -18 true wind speed.
Chatted to a couple of other boats on SSB yesterday, they are 2-300 miles ahead, have had lots of squalls but are generally OK.
Our Italian friends were close as they passed us on Zoe, I could hear him on VHF but he couldn’t hear me. I texted him on the satphone to tell him and then they played Volare over the radio for us.
I don’t think Solent Coastguard would have approved but it appears not everyone has their radio on.
We saw 2 ships on the AIS yesterday one going E_W the other W_E both over 10 miles away.
No more cetaceans only the occasional sheerwater, although 2 boats have reported egrets on board.
For days we were perceiving a “kra kra” noise, just like a frog sitting on on the right hand pole, the one holding the Yankee out. We tried to oil the junctions to the mast, but the frog didn’t stop. Last night we finally discovered the source of the noise; not a frog, not even the pole, but the sheet of the Yankee that was. Breaking – and it broke!- because of chafe.
Of course these things always happen at night, so we had to roll the Yankee and decided to wait until daylight to pull down the pile, attach the sheet back to the sail (with some extra anti-chafe tape) and go back to routine!
While very aware of the problems with chafe in long passages, we did not recognize the early signs of it,… Another lesson learned!
As I write this email (9am Dec7 Rum Time) 1300 UTC JoJo has 185 miles to finish with an estimated arrival ETA at or around 1200 Barbados time tomorrow Dec 8.
The situation on-board
– everyone is well and happy.
– est. 35-40 litres deisel remaining
-UNFORTUNATELY – port engine intake sits somewhere around 36-41 litres!!!! It stopped yesterday!!!! have jury rigged hose from fuel tank deeper in the tank … it works but will not rely on it as that is where all the crap is in the tank.
– where starboard engine intake stops???… I have no idea – Starboard engine also gave up yesterday but restarted after fuel filter change and much swearing and cursing:)
Since my last update we ran over our large spinnaker and the Rocna put a 4 mitre tear across above the port clew … we packed it away and thought all life was lost … Dr Stienhoffer and myself gave live preserving surgery using the last on sail tape, surgical tape and gaffer tape. Big Bertha – as we call her … has been flying her colours for 2 days replaced last night by the smaller bullet proof.
Power supply poor without engines and wind gen seems to have gone on holidays. I have a 60 Euro 2hp generator I purchaced near Venice which I have strapped on the foredeck (downwind) and running lead back to port enginebank battery charger – not a great system but able to supply navigation gear.
Squalls coming through at about 25knts – bulletproof spinnaker up only (main able to be unfurled quickly to creat wind shadow if needs to be snuffed) top speed this morning was over 11knts surfing down a wave … this old lady not at all stressed at that speed. averaging around 7.
Sailing is good and we make good progress. Sea is a little rolling with waves from multiple directions but we manage.