When we left Mindelo we did know that the first 3-4 days would be slow. A low up north killed all the trades between Cape Verdes and Caribbean. The ARC fleet was fighting with strong headwinds.
We sailed south as there was some wind down around 12 degree. After 4 days sailing south in light winds ranging from 4-10 knots we gybed and steered west. We had reached 12 degrees and trades were taking us directly to Grenada. We sailed with a boomed out genoa and the hardwind jib sheeted on the same side as the main sail.
It was a very comfortable sail. Winds between 15-25 knots and slight seas. It could not been better. With some small exceptions, this was the conditions across the Atlantic.
The last week in to Grenada we got some rain squalls that sometimes could increase wind speed to 30 kn.
The fishing was a big disappointment as we hit seaweed already a week from Cape Verde. The seaweed fouled the fishing equipment right away.
Whales came and escorted Bella.
We did see 2-3 fishing boat and two tankers on the route from CV to Grenada.
Our friends on Hullabaloo went rumb line from Cape Verdes. They had to motor for 72 hours!.
We sailed defensive as the goal was to come to Grenada with all the crew and boat in one piece. We reefed as soon as the wind was between 23-25 knots. We could possible have been averaging 0.3-0.5 knots more if we had been pushing 100 %.
We arrived to Grenada after 15 days sailing. The last 6-7 hours we sailed reefed as we did want to arrive Prickly Bay in daylight. We motored about 12-15 hours. The generator had to run about 2×3 hours/day to keep up with our electricity need.
The Raymarine autopilot steered 100% of the way. Not one single disconnect. It steered courses that would be very difficult to hand steer in the darkness.
Nothing broke on the trip!! Not bad for a 14 year old boat. That showed that the preparations in Gran Canaria was done right, and that we had a skilled crew that did not do any mistakes.
Avi spend a lot of time in the galley making delicious food. Unfortunately we did not lose weight as Avi could not find baby spinach in Gran Canaria.
Lots of boats in all the bays on the south coast of Grenada. Clearly the hurricanes in the north is creating business for the boat yards on Grenada.
The first 24 hours we enjoyed 30 knots of wind, logging 8-9 knots. Rough seas
was pushing down between Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria. But as it was following seas they did not cause any problems.
The rest of the 850 Nm crossing was very comfortable with winds ranging from 10-25 knots. Seas was slight. It was either a reach or classical downwind sailing with boomed out genoa.
We caught a small Skip Jack tuna that was enough for sushi as starter and tuna steak for main course. Avi did an excellent job in BL galley.
We also caught some very small dorados that was released. The lAst day we had a small tired bird visiting us. He first flew down in the main cabin, but left the same way after some seconds. He then decided to rest on deck.
The crossing took 5 ½ day. Our average speed was 6 knots. We arrived Mindelo on Thursday morning. 24 hours after ARC+ left for Saint Lucia.
Mindelo is a bustling African town. There is a local market for vegetables and for fish. Both very colorful.
Luckily we had done our homework in Gran Canaria. There was not much we needed in the local supermercados. They are pretty basic and very expensive in relation to the quality they offer.
We took the ferry to Santo Antao. At the ferry terminal there were lots of taxis that offered a tour of the island. It was a very scenic tour that we enjoyed. Perhaps we were not as enthusiastic as the driver was used to. That could have something to do with the late hours in the floating bar the day before.
A low close to Gran Canaria killed all the trade winds between GC and CV. There was no wind in sight. We decided to go deep south as there was wind down at 12. But more about that in next post.