Atlantic crossing 2019, 1st week

24-11-2019, 27º 42.742N 15º 16.490W
In the acceleration zone

doing good speed (8-9 knots) south in 20 knots of wind. We look forward to this adventure and new experience. We wish all participants in the ARC 2019 good luck and a fair wind.
Jonas, Carina and Johan

24-11-2019, 27º 13.574N 15º 39.361W
Downwind night sailing in 25 knots of wind

Johan and I (Jonas) have had a couple of sandwiches with egg and ”Kalles caviar” (creamed smoked fish roe) drinking hot chocolate and listening to the breaking waves and the album Communique by Dire Straits and the song Single-handed sailor.

25-11-2019, 26º 48.270N 16º 28.450W
No wind for a couple of hours this morning

Made good progress until three tonight when we sailed into the no wind zone behind Gran Canaria. We decided to not gybe since it was dark and the genoa was on the whisker pole. Later We got something in the rudder that make a quirking sound when moving it. Still dark so we have to wait to put the camera down until the sun is up. Some big rudder movements solved the problem and the camera showed that all looks good.

25-11-2019, 26º 08.909N 16º 44.220W
Where is the wind?

After we sailed into the no wind zone of Gran Canaria last night we have been searching for wind the whole day and finally, we got 10-12 knots from NE giving nice sailing south, and hopefully, we are fast enough to have this wind overnight. Maybe we need to gybe to avoid coming too close to Africa. Carina is cooking dinner (Swedish meatballs from IKEA in Las Palmas) with spaghetti, yummy.

26-11-2019, 25º 11.186N 17º 46.702W
Almost no other boats on the horizon

Good wind last evening and night, today we have only 4 to 6 knots of wind and some swell, rolly with flapping sails. Today we put up the whisker pole for the genoa and sail wing on wing to the southwest. We can see two other boats on the horizon making our watches more relaxed and we begin adjusting ourselves to life onboard Sally with watches, sleep, and eating. Seasickness is under control and we even start to have our”own” time.

26-11-2019, 24º 46.060N 18º 09.759W
Peaceful sailing in six knots of wind

After setting up the whisker pole this morning, we got a peaceful sailing towards the southwest in the very light wind that made it possible to fix small things from our to-do list and organize things that were just put where there was a free space when preparing for the crossing. Carina could stay below without being seasick and made an apple pie and later on a curry pot with squash, onion, pepper, and beans. Served with rice and fried sausages, yummy. Now we are prepared for night sailing and the wind has picked up to around ten knots, still from NE. We got a beautiful sunset. Almost forget that we got a visit by a couple of whales, come ver close, and swam alongside for a while. Amazing animals, so big and graceful. The back of the biggest while looked like a small ”kobbe” (a small rock island polished by the ice from the ice era).

27-11-2019, 24º 08.814N 19º 09.829W
Another day with light wind

This morning we lost the 10+ knots of wind from NE we had the whole night and now we have 5 knots from E and swell from NE, not good for the speed since the sails lost the wind all the time. We have sun from a blue sky with clouds on the horizon. Tonight we come close to a sailing boat without AIS or VHF, at least not answering our call, they passed 100 m behind us. We just passed Gentoo, a boat in the ARC 2019. Have a nice day
From the crew on Sally.

27-11-2019, 23º 50.299N 19º 24.166W
Flying the gennaker

Finally, we dug out the gennaker from under the dinghy and succeeded to hoist it in the light wind. Think it increases the speed of one knot in this wind (8 knots from behind). Makes the boat much more stable when riding the swell. If the wind is stable we will keep it up until ten or so this evening. Nice weather, no seasickness and we eat the rest of the apple pie from yesterday. Bye-bye

28-11-2019, 22º 08.525N 20º 34.378W
A day with very little action

After a night with good E wind that took us 50 NM further south, we had a day with very light ENE wind and we needed to go west to avoid a big area with no wind. 5 knots downwind sailing in swell is not good for Sally, the sails lose the power with each swell and we only got 2 knots of speed and flapping sails. The same with the gennaker, it loses power and can easily be entangled in the mast when it swings back and forth with the swell. We still have our Volvo Penta workhorse that we put into action today. We make water, electricity, grilled sandwiches, and baked bread.
Tonight we will enter a new time zone and we will change our clocks accordingly. Onboard we follow the local time zone, in the logbook we use UTC 0. Not sure if it will work, maybe too complicated to keep track of two clocks. We can motor for a couple of days more, but after that, we must spare diesel for emergencies and making electricity.
Fair winds

28-11-2019, 21º 58.883N 20º 58.294W
At watch another beautiful night

Despite all clouds that we saw before sunset, most of the starry sky is visible, with the Milky Way stretching over the sky behind the stars. The universe is so big that it is unbelievable. Crossing the big Atlantic ocean is nothing compared to the distances in space. While sitting here being philosophic, the echo sounder suddenly changes from ” too deep to measure” to 35 meters of depth and continues to show a depth between 32 to 39 m for several minutes and I started to make fantasies about what it is 30 m below the boat in the dark water. I have a spotlight that I use to light up the water, but the only thing that shows up are hunting squids swimming just below the surface. They have red glowing eyes and race through the water in the hunt for something to eat. Then, suddenly, the echo sounder returns to display ” too deep to measure”. Phew, the whale is gone, probably since it got no response from Sally.
Good night from Jonas, now Johan will be on watch until 02.00

29-11-2019, 21º 43.261N 21º 38.987W
Everybody sleeps good tonight

Tonight we are doing 5-6 knots, calm and nice sailing. No flapping sails, no waves, everybody sleeps well. I have the night watch between 02 until dawn. Listening to Johan’s list on Spotify, drinking tea, and looking at the stars.

29-11-21º 36.736N 22º 31.409W
24 hours with 10 knots from north north east

Fantastic sailing the last 24 hours. Moderate wind from a perfect direction and almost no waves. Slept like a baby last night, 8 hours of nonstop sleep, and a lazy day with the same conditions. No sailing records but doing acceptable speed, think we have averaged 5.5 knots. The last night when Johan was on watch, we were visited by a whale. The first sign was on the echo sounder that displayed a depth around 35 meters and after a while, it displayed ” too deep” and Johan heard the sound of blowing whale 10-20 meters on the SB side of Sally. Glad it didn’t surface closer. Today we have had a couple of more visits below Sally and now we are quite sure it is living animals below us when that happens. Some soundings have shown only 4 meters and we can only hope that it is smaller animals than whales. It gets warmer each day, tonight it was 22 degrees and now we have 26 degrees making life on board quite nice.
We have sailed into a new time zone and turned back our watches one hour and are now 2 hours behind GMT.

30-11-2019, 21º 15.101N 25º 01.396W
And another nice day at sea

Today we have a gentle breeze from ENE and we use all three sails when going downwind in 6 knots. Carina remembered my and Johans name day Anders and to celebrate it she made a cake of pancakes, yummy and big smiles. We have been in company with another ARC boat Tangra since this morning and they are going almost the same course as us. It’s nice to see another sailboat on the horizon. Johan and I are playing Yatzy and Carina is looking on Let’s Call Saul. No fishing since our freezer is full and we can’t eat a whole fish, so we wait until there is space in the freezer.
Jonas and the crew on Sally

30-11-2019 21º 10.291N 25º 08.773W
Visited by dolphins

Finally, we got visited by dolphins!
We rushed to the bow to get the best view, and they played for half an hour. A magical moment while the sun slowly sets into the ocean.

30-11-2019, 20º 58.439N 25º 28.374W
Sailing on a moon river of silver

We are sailing on a moon river of silver and behind us is a trail of bioluminescence flashing like thunderstorms as seen from the space station. We have still in company with Tangra in the north and Alegria has joined from the south this afternoon. As usual, I (Jonas) have the first dark watch between 18-22 Sally time, then Johan for 4 hours, and 02 Carina is on watch until the sun rises when it’s my turn again.

01-12-2019, 20º 30.676N 26º 35.852W
Cheers to everyone on 1st Advent

Soon there will be mulled wine and gingerbread for everyone onboard Sally

01-12-2019, 20º 15.766N 27º 15.257W
First week at sea have passed

This was the first week of the Atlantic crossing. If our plotter calculates the ETA correctly we will arrive in Saint Lucia on December 15 if we can average 6 knots. That will make this a relatively slow crossing and the main reason is the light wind this first week and our initial strategy to sail SW until the butter melts. It would have been better to follow the routing suggested by PredictWind. However, this calm first week has given us a chance to really adapt to 24×7 sailing with only 3 persons on board, beautiful days and nights, good food, and pleasant life. The wind will pick up tomorrow and I think we will get up to 20 knots from NE a couple of days and maybe longer since we will be down in the trade winds by then.
Today we celebrated 1st advent traditionally with hot mulled wine (only a tiny tiny glass) and gingerbread.
Happy 1st advent

01-12-2019, 20º 04.229N 27º 33.984W
Tonight we are sailing fast

This night we finally got more than 10 knots of wind and we average around 7 knots towards our waypoint down in the trade winds. A clear sky and a bright moon make it easier to sail as if it was daylight. We have one reef in the main and shall take one reef more when the moon goes down. We have a couple of boats around us, Mokara 10 nm ahead of us, have heard Pearl, and a couple of other boats on the VHF today. The boat from last night had an accident in the dark, the new halyard to the Code 0 broke and it fell in the water, the autopilot malfunctioned and gybed the boat with the preventer in place. They managed to get the code 0 onboard again in the dark, what hard work that must have been, Heard the story over VHF earlier today.
Now it’s time to take one more reef in the main and reduce the genoa a bit. Then I will have a ”nattmacka” (night sandwich?) and some milk before I go to sleep.
Wow, that was a wave from the wrong direction that caused serious flapping in both sails, That is the drawback of downwind sailing, the risk of gybing, and a lot of rolling if the waves come from the wrong direction.
Good night all!

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