09 December 2008

09-Dec-2008 Noon Position

Atlantic Crossing Day #1
North Atlantic Ocean

  • 98 nm last 24 hours
  • 98 nm from Grand Canary
  • 2551 nm to Barbados
  • Winds NE 15-20 knots
  • Seas NE 3-4 feet
Sailing in Christopher Columbus' wake...

After one last shower, saying goodbye to our dock neighbors, filling Sandpiper's water and fuel tanks to the brim, and paying our marina fees, we departed Grand Canary Island at noon yesterday. Once clear of the harbor we popped up the sails and have been on a downwind run ever since. Right now the main sail is secured with a preventer out to port, and 'Big Pole' is holding the jib out to starboard, giving us and average of 5 knots.

This crossing will be Sandpiper's second longest passage since we left in 2005. And we are copying Cap'n Columbus' crossing strategy from 1492. All four of his voyages for the "New World" left from Grand Canary Island. His two fastest passages were only 21 days. We can only hope to do as well.

Our current plans are to sail southwest from our present position until we are 300 miles northeast of the Cape Verde Islands. There we should find the winter trade winds which should be forming as we arrive. Once we get to the latitude of Barbados (13.0°N) we will hang a right and run due west right down the line of latitude for Barbados.

No fishing reports till we eat a hole in the freezer big enough to stuff a fish in.

More in 24!!
Tom and Amy

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