Santa Maria to Madeira Day 6

Saturday 5/4

James’ 1400-1500 watch

Between noon and 2, we averaged 5 knots. What’s really amazing about that is how comfortable it is, with a modest heel, less motion in response to much-calmer waves, and a wind that isn’t howling through the rigging. Looks as easy on the gear as it feels on the body.

The sky at sea

Even Beluga Greyfinger is acting like his anchorage self.

Sailor Gato

It’s ridiculous to talk about “if this keeps up, we’ll arrive by…” because the forecast definitely calls for the wind to weaken and back to the west. We’ll go with main and yankee if we can, main alone if we have to aim too far downwind. 

Our lives @Sea

Even so, this fast period has given us a good margin. We can get tucked behind the peninsula and anchored well before the storm up north forces the wind through to northeasterly, as long as we can do better than 2 knots from here on out. More likely, we’ll have a nice day there before the strongest winds hit.


Sunday 5/5

Dena’s 0300-0600 watch

We’re within 70 NM of the end of the peninsula on Madeira. At this rate, we’re definitely arriving Monday. The only question is morning or afternoon. I’m glad we won’t get there in the dark for both aesthetic and practical reasons, but I wouldn’t mind a morning arrival.

It doesn’t sound like we’re moving at all most of the time, but we’re sailing about 3 knots on average on a broad reach with a full main and yankee. It feels like the completion of the calming that started last night, and it feels more comfortable than the actual calms we saw at the beginning of the trip.

Dena’s 0900-1000 watch

Now it looks like we’ll be arriving in the dark. It’s been wonderful, getting 3 knots out of such light winds…can’t be more than 8 knots of wind speed and often feels like a whisper. I suspect helpful currents but I’m not too proud to take a boost. Visually, we look to be going about that speed through the water, so maybe it is all skill.

We’re 25 NM from the closest point of land and I got a text message from MEO inviting me to add money for more data. Yeah, thanks guys. If it were that easy, I would have already done it. Their online interface requires a tax id number, so we were going into stores to add money in Praia da Vitória.

Eventually, we’ll either get the same message on James’ phone and so much for getting updated forecasts, or he’ll get signal and we’ll be able to check in with the world. I’ll never turn down information, but I’m not feening to check the news.

Noon position: N 33° 09.465’ W 017° 20.158’
Distance noon to noon: 92 NM
Average speed: 3.8 kn
Trip distance covered: 469.2 NM
Distance to destination: 46.6 NM


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