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. Even Beluga Greyfinger is acting like his anchorage self. 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.  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[…]

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