- Distance (nm)
- Average (kts)
A sparkling clear day to begin our passage from Barcelona over to Palma de Majorca where we will spend some time getting Giamma up-to-speed on the boat and have some more minor work done. The weather looks a little rough for later in the week so we might spend the time here taking advantage of the fabulous marina STP where all the really big yachts get their maintenance done and/or spend the winter months.
We left Puerto Olimpico at high tide (+10cm as we in the Med where tide is almost non-existent) to maximize our draft clearance. All went well and we began our passage under motor as there was no wind until later in the day. Once the winds developed we hoisted the sails and enjoyed cruising along. One of the first times for Tracy to really enjoy what this yacht can do! The winds and sea state continued to develop and eventually we were reefed and running on the staysail.
During the evening the staysail button became broken and we had to shut off the hydraulic system. The seas were rough and the winds over 30 kts so not having any hydraulics was a bit of a problem. Around 03:30 in the morning we gybed around the western edge of Majorca and headed into a bay to anchor for the rest of the night. Since the hydraulics were offline we didn't want to drop an anchor so the rest of the team went to sleep and I stood watch moving the boat around the bay until 06:00 when I got everyone up to take the boat into the STP marina.
While we are enjoying spending time in Majorca, we are anxious to get on with our passage to the Canaries as Christmas is coming quickly and we have family and friends coming to spend time with us in various places in the Caribbean.
After a lovely time in Majorca, we are finally off on our way to the Canaries to stage for our crossing to the Caribbean. The weather is looking to be great for sailing with a nice broad reach down the coast of Spain for the next several days. We hope to make good time now that the boat is in perfect condition and the crew is ready for adventure.
Waking for the night watch, one of the most difficult jobs for any crewman on board a sailing vessel. Your bed is warm and cozy, you're still tired and groggy from the previous watch, but the demands and commitment of your fellow crewmen out way all personal comfort. Thankfully the foul weather gear is dry this time, you pull on the heavy trousers, thick deck boots, and jacket; the pleasant warmth of sleep rudely forsaken by the chill of cold slick nylon as you wrestle the gear over your underclothes. The safety harness comes next, a Spinlock life vest festooned with complex hardware, it's all quite uncomfortable.
On deck the icy wind hits you first like a slap in the face; bracing. No stars tonight, no moon either, only a few ships off in the distance, and the rhythmic flash of a lighthouse on a faraway cliff. We are sailing well though, the crewman you're relieving brags of hitting 14.6 kts, "top that", he says as he heads below to his own warm bed. Along side the hull the sea appears to be flying past, the frothy wake sparkles with bioluminescent pinpoints of blue green light. To see dolphins would be nice, but they don't appear, they must be sleeping. If only that idiot on the radio would turn in.....Mariooooooo.....
Not much of a sunrise this morning and the winds have dropped. Giamma, never missing an opportunity, decides it's a good time to put up the gennaker. The crew are eager, and without much fuss, the otherwise grey overcast sky is suddenly decorated by 500 square meters of yellow nylon. A couple hours later and the wind has died completely so we're now under motor but heading directly for Gibraltar and making steady progress. We hope to make Las Palmas by Saturday. Everyone on board is well and spirits are rising as we head south, we are feeling good!
Winds at 15 kts, the crew all maneuver in close in an attempt to edge out whomever is currently on the helm; brilliant clear blue sky overhead and nearly flat seas. The cockpit speakers are pumping out Crosby Stills Nash and Young, the boat is flying her gennaker slipping through the waves at 12-14…apologies to those of you sitting back in the wintery north, but the pleasure has been hard won so we’re soaking up every moment. “Is that a rooster tale?” Rich looks back at the stern astonished, “I’ve only seen that in films, never in real life!"
Today a light cloud deck has moved in, not so much sun but a pleasant day none the less. The mood is quieter on board now that the winds have died off; Giamma has switched on the motor but the main is still helping us to reach 10 kts. The guys are taking time out for some maintenance. Dan has the floor boards pulled up in the saloon as he and Giamma reorganize parts, they fixed a faulty sensor in the crew head this morning and gave the deck a wash. I made a large pot of pasta Bolognese which rapidly vanished at mid-day. We’re planning to reach Las Palmas by Sunday morning. We’ll top off on fuel, restock our fresh fruits and vegetables, and pick up our final crew member for the Atlantic passage: Gustavo- Ciao Gustavo!! Stiamo arrivandooooooo!!!!
Another night of "Surfin' Safari" as the winds built back up to 25-30kts about 45 degrees off the bow with a straight course to Gran Canaria. We clocked about 9-11 kts all night long with two reefs in the main and the staysail. Amazing performance and the helm was a light as a feather! The only downside was the constant spray from the waves as we surfed through them. Everyone got wet but at least the temperatures are moderating now. We had 20 C last night and can definitely tell we have 'Escaped Winter in the Med!"
We'll be arriving in Las Palmas around midnight tonight (Saturday) and plan to refuel in the morning for the next big passage across the Atlantic. A half day of cleaning up the boat before taking some well-deserved rest. Monday is a work day with some last minute provisioning, etc. then off to the Caribbean.
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