Santa Maria to Madeira Day 1

Monday 4/29 Dena’s 1600-1700 watch James was hauling chain at noon and we were underway 20 minutes later. The mainsail hung slack until we got a little ways out of our protected anchorage, and the electric motor whirred at a calm 650ish rpm…10 amps of power giving us 2 easy knots. There wasn’t any wave action until we got south of Ponta do Castelo, and the little bit we have now sends the sails fluttering in lulls. The wind varies from F1 to F2 and we have all plain sail flying to catch what we can. It’s frustrating to reef because the wind is too light to keep the sails full, but we will if we have to. Dena’s 2000-2100 watch The wind backed to westerly on my last watch and I rolled in the staysail. It went that little bit farther on James’ watch and now we’re bowling along under full main alone. It’s the kind of wind that a big genoa would be great for, but there’s too much roll to fly the asymmetrical spinnaker. We’re 20 NM from our anchorage, making pretty good time! I’m peacefully happy about being out here starting another passage. The rhythm of it is already feeling natural. I’ll get the sunset and the sunrise tonight. Three 200m cargo ships passed us south of Santa Maria, and all of the Mediterranean is on a path that crosses ours. I think we’ll do full-night shifts eventually, but there’s too much activity to start that tonight. Tuesday 4/30 Dena’s 0600-0900 watch The wind died badly at the end of my last watch and James ran the motor throughout his. We’re just under 78% now on the propulsion pack and we have two days of very calm weather before the other side of this system overtakes[…]

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