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Update transatlantic crossing Nilaya

12/05/2013

After a postponement of a couple of days due to an unfavourable weather window and some engine issues we left Palma on Saturday the 23th, Destination Puerto Calero Lanzarote. First day at sea started with gusts up to 30 knots and very variable wind directions, not the perfect conditions to acclimatise to life at sea but at least very fast.

Early Monday morning we were happy to leave the strait of Gibraltar behind us, the traffic and gusty wind in the strait never gave us a dull moment on deck. Although we were only sailing on mainsail, due to the ever-changing wind conditions in the Med, we were easily averaging 10kn. Once in the Atlantic in front of the Moroccan coast we enjoyed some good sailing in stable easterly winds and fairly nice weather. By Wednesday evening Nialaya arrived in the small harbour of Puerto Calero. Despite making reservations, the harbour master had given our berth away to another vessel. Without dawdle James made the call we would go to Las Palmas. By Friday morning we were peacefully lying in the harbour, good call.  During the day some of the guys fixed the forestay and stitched the Jib while Marianne and Alma were taking care of the interior of the boat and all food & supplies. We finished the day with a lovely meal and a few beers on board. 

Most of the weather forecast models did not look favourable, however we scheduled to leave on Friday afternoon and took a more southerly route than usual. Some yachts went all the way south to the Cape Verde Islands, James preferred not to consider this more lengthy route. The first few days at sea were characterized by light winds and motoring. Sporadically we could sail for a couple of hours but nothing major. Small jobs on-board such as splicing workshops with Arjen, black water tank cleaning sessions with Jerry and sail stitching with Will became our everyday occupations. Yesterday we booked our first fishing success. First Will saw our big tuna being eaten by a 7 feet shark, on a second attempt we lost our lure. Our third attempt was more successful and we caught a beautiful Mahi Mahi, deliciously prepared by Marianne for dinner. The flying fish pop up on deck more frequently; they can be a bit of a surprise at night when they hit the deck.

The mood on-board is chilled, everybody is still on speaking terms and we are averaging a solid 9 knots, unfortunately mainly on engine. We are very much looking forward to some decent sailing. We should arrive in Sint-Maarten by the 12th

 

From now onwards, daily updates till arrival. 

Louis

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