Night sailing to Lagos

Night sailing to Lagos

We sail the last leg to Lagos without stopping on the way. It is about 120 distance minutes (220 km) there and we can set a course directly to Lagos, there are no obstacles on the way. We adapt the route a bit according to how the wind will blow along the way, it will blow more the further south we sail. The strategy is to have a more southerly course until we get out in the right wind and then set course for Lagos.

I expect that we will sail the route in under 24 hours and it would be nice to arrive before lunch, so we leave Cadiz in the middle of the day on December 13 and before that, we had time for a Lucia coffee on board.

Dolphins

We use the engine to get out on open water and get some navigable wind blowing from the east. When the sails are set, it does not take long before we are joined by several dolphins. They are large and black, and it looks like one of them has damaged its dorsal fin which is white and it looks like an imprint of a net in it.

It was a nice sailing in a slightly weaker wind than the forecast promised, but it is probably mostly because the limit for the slightly stronger wind is a few nautical miles further south than we sail. It’s still fast enough for us to make it before lunch tomorrow. The wind varies a lot and it blows from the east all the time. There was motoring for an hour or so during the night.

Seagull visit

Just before sunset we get a visit from a seagull, it is totally unafraid and then they usually are exhausted, so it can stay for as long as it wants. It hung on until we got closer to the coast again, at Faro, and then it was almost dawn. When it got light, we saw something less fun.

If I had thought about it a bit, I know that seagulls poop and so did this one. It was full of seagull poop up on the sprayhood where it lay, not so fun to take care of. It did not help to scrub with detergent and dish brush. There were dark spots inside the fabric. But it was worth it, I had company during my night shift.

At times we had perfect downwind sailing and then we could sail with both foresails hauled on different sides. Ideally, we would haul them with poles, but that means I have to leave the cockpit to work on the foredeck and then Carina should also be awake. No, it’s not worth it, we sail well enough anyway.

Several times during the night we received strange messages on our plotter that I could not understand what they meant, but since we were not called on the Vhf radio, I assumed that it did not apply to us.

In retrospect, I believe that the message refers to a ship that lacks position information in its AIS messages. This is one thing we noticed when we sailed from the Caribbean to the Azores, then we met a large fishing vessel that was not shown on the chart plotter. When I talked to other sailors about it, it happens that just fishing vessels have tampered with their AIS transmitter so that it sends the wrong position or not at all.

Lagos Marina

We arrive in the morning and it’s a sunny day, wonderful.

Since we have already been to the marina, it was a smooth check-in and they did not bother to look at our vaccination certificates. Our place was not vacant yet, so we got a temporary place at the far end of our favorite pier F. The boat, which is in the place we were allotted, on pier O, would leave within 2 days, but it took until after Christmas before the boat could leave. It turned out that the bridge O was also very nice and with good boat neighbors 😊

Up next

I’m not sure what the next blog will be about. Either it will be about the winter months in Lagos or I have had time to finish writing the more technically oriented posts I have planned to write. They will be about electrical systems on a sailboat intended for long-distance sailing. It’s more work than I thought, but that’s the way it is with a lot of things you plan to do. It is fortunate that you often underestimate how much work there is with something. Otherwise, probably not much would be done 🙂 Have a good time until next time.

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