Sunday Island continues on our passage to Cp Verde. Our ride today has become a little more bumpy as we experiance some more weather, and enjoyed another 160nm days run.
Last night we were comfortably sailing square down wind with two reefs in the mainsail and the yankee poled out, making some good speed towards our destination. Just after lunch the wind backed to the ENE and strenghened to
25kts with gusts of 30kts as forecasted. Likewise the sea state increased to sea state 5, becoming quite rough with the odd breaker crashing around us, occasionally getting the cockpit wet. We furled the yankee and altered course for a true wind angle of 150*, then unfurled the staysail.
With the new sail plan and course Sunday Island immediatly settled into her new groove, and even with mean wind of 28kts, gusts over 30kts and an increased sea state, Sunday Island’s motion settled, and down below it was as if we were tied to our mooring. With no vessels about visually, on radar or AIS we could become more relaxed about watchkeeping and spent the afternoon in the aft cabin reading books and watching documenteries on Polar Bears and Balluga whales, popping our heads our for a look about the horizon every 20 minutes.
Some rain came with the increased wind, and we still had the occasional breaker around us so we put in the lower storm board in the hatch way to keep us dry. The storm boards also ensure that the occasional flying fish that is unlucky enough to land on our deck does not make its way below as they are very smelly little fish!
Im amazed and impressed how calm the kids are during a storm onboard now. Issy and Max move about the boat and play as if we are anchored off a tropical beach somewhere. Their agility, balance and predictability of the yachts movement is excellent. Whilst the kids are displaying a care free attitude, it is also great that they put their life jackets on before coming into the cockpit, and clip on to the teathers straight away.
Before dining below on last nights lasaniga, we enjoyed a board game in the saloon, putting blue tack under the game pieces so they didnt fly off the board. It was very peaceful and nice to be playing a board game in the saloon with the knoweledge the yacht was tucked in comfortably with crashing waves all around us.
We have been sending and recieving text emails (no photographs), and getting our weather and GRIB files (weather files that plug into our Expedition and B&G navigation software) via the SSB radio through software called Winlink. Some times we use a radio station that is over 2500nm away. We are set up to use the Icom 710 marine radio and our Icom 7300 for this service. I am impresed how well this works, especially with the new Icom 7300 which is a joy to use. The service is basically free once you have set up your radio station and operates faster than an Irridum Go. Perhaps in the future we will get Starlink for the kids schooling, but for now this setup suits our needs. We can also use the SSB to listen to BBC radio, however the news of the world seems so far away to our life that it is more out of interest of the radio performance rather than listening to the news. I wonder if there is a “good news” email subscription in text that we could subscribe to!
As we proceed on our voyage and spend more time with other families the SSB will be a useful tool for keeping in touch by voice and I hope that the kids will be able to talk to other children of their age once we find other families who have an SSB and still use it. For now we have not met any other cruisers who use the SSB, with most paying their expensive subscription to satellight internet or just going with out any long range communication. Personally I can not sing the praise of the new Icom 7300 enough, it has taken SSB radio into the modern world!
We are due to arrive at Mindelo in the early hours of the 21st November, so must try to slow down a bit to ensure we arrive in daylight as the pilot suggests some uncharted wrecks and abandoned yachts in the vacinity of the surrounding harbours and bays. Hopefully we will clear customs early on the 21st and explore the town and old fortifications. I am sure the kids will enjoy a run around the beach!
Check out our posiiton, course, speed and weather at: