Madeira to Lanzarote Day 4

Friday, May 10 The wind is gentler again but I hold out hope of arriving before full dark, if not before sundown. For a while there, the chartplotter was tossing up times in the late afternoon but, as I said in the last log, I’ll sacrifice a little speed for a comfortable, low-stress ride. Today I let my feet burn a bit so I’m suddenly very aware of my skin. After these last outdoorsy 18 days, I’m feeling a little crunchy. James says I have “good color” which I think means I’m browning up. My freckles never take over my face completely but they are definitely robust.  Too bad my phone won’t stop touching up my face. It smooths wrinkles and texture, which means it fades out my freckles. I’d rather enjoy the spectacle of crow’s feet splaying from my pushing-50 eyes and keep the freckles. I remember vividly the store clerk in Beebe, Arkansas, who told 8-year-old me they were sun kisses. 1955 Anchored! Not loving the location, but it’s alright.  Anchored position: N 28° 51.577’ W 013° 49.325’Distance over 7 hrs 37 min: 31.8 NMAverage speed: 4.2 knTrip distance covered: 289.3 NM

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Madeira to Lanzarote Day 3

Thursday, May 9 James’ 1200-1230 watch The wind is growing and we’re talking about how to prepare for the acceleration zone off Lanzarote. The Canaries have these zones of higher winds where the steady tradewinds are funneled by the islands. Winds can be 25 knots faster there, though that’s unlikely off the southwest end of Lanzarote. Regardless, we’ll be coming in on a broad reach so we don’t want to get caught with too much sail up. It’s harder to reef going downwind because there’s no way to spill the wind from the sail (luff up) as you lower it. Dena’s 1400-1500 watch Holy shit is it busy around here! There are a couple dozen AIS signatures in range and 5 on screen, zoomed out to 30 nautical miles. Two are coming up from behind at a 30° angle, more or less, and will be passing pretty close to us. This may be the first time I would prefer to have an AIS transceiver rather than the receiver we actually have. Twenty minutes later, I have pulled the second reef and brought out about 80% of the yankee for balance. I have a feeling I’ll be rolling some of that back in before long. We might even end up striking the main if this wind continues building. The cruising guide says it usually calms after dark and that was true last night, when I was wishing for a little more wind to keep us moving over the swells. I have a feeling I won’t be wishing for more wind until, maybe, we round the southern head of Lanzarote and get in the lee of the island. James’ 1700-1800 watch  James made nachos. It was epic. He hadn’t realized how much we were rolling in the waves hitting us on the[…]

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