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 port quarter, but putting that dish together was a fabulous feat.

A ship is passing us only a couple miles away, but it was going to be really close. I slowed us down by rolling in the yankee, though LoveBot struggles to steer with just the main up, downwind. Since it’s James’ watch, when to add some headsail is up to him. I’m chilling below, comfy on the starboard settee with a couple pillows behind my head.

Working Lovebot

Friday, May 10

Dena’s 2400-0300 watch

The traffic hasn’t been so bad. Since the one we slowed down for, nothing has come within 5 miles.

I struggle with getting wrapped up in the math of it all. At x speed, we’ll arrive at y time but a half knot more… It’s more than a little ridiculous to count on the wind doing anything in particular.

I guess it helps me keep my math brain limber for basic arithmetic. I use my phone calculator for almost all other math just to reduce the likelihood of errors.

cool for warmth

Dena’s 1000-1100 watch 

The waves are not so fun to watch, though we’re riding them well. This is the kind of sailing some people live for: F5, picking up speed on every wave face and sliding down the backs without losing the wind in the sails. I can see that it’s powerful, that Cetacea is good at this, but it’s stressful enough that I’d rather give up a knot or two for a less abrupt sea. We could lose a little speed and still arrive before dark after the fresh night we had.

Coming in hot!

Beluga Greyfinger has a water fountain and it was splashing over on the 30°+ heeling moments. Back during my 2400-0300 watch, I turned it so the high side was down but that was worse because the whole thing dumped over. James found the carpet drenched when he came down to wake me for my last watch and had images of water shorting out the house batteries. That would be really bad…I’m glad it didn’t happen!

Nice trousers...

Noon position: N 29° 13.759’ W 014° 10.374’
Distance noon to noon: 105.1 NM
Average speed: 4.38 kn
Trip distance covered: 257.5 NM
Distance to destination: 31.1 NM


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