Atlantic Crossing – Part 2

This is the second part of our Atlantic crossing, first part can be found HERE.

Day 11 – December 28, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 118 nm
  • Total distance: 1181 nm
  • Breakfast: Freshly baked carrot bread with fried egg
  • Lunch: Curry stew with Mahi-Mahi and rice.
  • Dinner: Pasta with pesto and halloumi
  • Sunrise: 09.19 UTC

During the night we got a bit more wind so we made good speed. Around 2pm UTC we reached halfway which we intended to celebrate with some cheap sparkling wine we bought in Mindelo. The wine was disgusting and we ended up sharing a Coca-Cola instead. During the afternoon we read for a while and ate some chips. Looked a bit a movie during dinner before we started our night shifts.

Cool clouds in the evening.
Day 12 – December 29, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 119 nm
  • Total distance: 1300 nm
  • Breakfast: Freshly baked carrot bread with fried egg with some tea
  • Lunch: Fruity foil-baked Mahi-Mahi with sweet potatoes
  • Dinner: Spagetti Carbonara
  • Sunrise: 09.27 UTC

A big shower showed up during the night and cleaned the boat of from all salt. The previous days we haven’t had so much rain and there has been so much salt all over the boat. The wind also picked up a bit during the night, but it was no worries. During most of the crossing we used our largest staysail instead of the genoa. The genoa we have is very big and a light-wind sail and as it is very rolly on the ocean the genoa slapped a lot, and the staysails did not (or at least not as bad). We actually found that sometimes we had less headsail up in light winds just because of the slapping. We read a lot during the day, made food, did the dishes, read some more. Did some afternoon-fika of the last oranges we had left, oranges with almonds. When we prepared the fika a big wave hit us, leaving chopped oranges and almonds all over the table, fortunately no oranges in the sofa! We had a lot of seaweed floating around us, it got stuck in the lure and the wind-vane. During the afternoon several dolphins showed up to escort us for a while. We watched some movie while eating dinner.

atlantic crossing
A lot of sea weed!
Day 13 – December 30, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 106 nm
  • Total distance: 1406 nm
  • Breakfast: Freshly baked buns with marmelade and tea
  • Lunch: Tomato-based fish soap
  • Dinner: Spagetti Carbonara
  • Sunrise: 09.34 UTC

It was very little wind during the night and we ran the engine for a while. In the morning we got hit by a line squall with a lot of rain and some wind so we hoisted the sails again. We watched some movie while eating breakfast until the rain passed. The wind stayed during the day and we sailed almost beam reach with mainsail hoisted as well, the first time we set mainsail during the crossing. It was a very sunny and warm day, but quite windy so not any trouble with the wind. Spend a lot of time in the cockpit, reading as usual. Caught a big mahi-mahi (85 cm), which ended up as several nice filets.

atlantic crossing

Day 14 – December 31, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 89 nm
  • Total distance: 1495 nm
  • Breakfast: Freshly baked buns with marmelade and tea.
  • Lunch: Tomato-based fish soap
  • Dinner: Sweet-and-sour fish stew
  • Sunrise: 09.43 UTC

Barely no wind during the night, and it stayed that way all day. The wind had changed direction and was blowing against us. We hoisted the main in the morning as we had to sail close hauled. We tried to sail for a while, but it was so little wind so we ended up dropping the sails and took a swim in a very calm Atlantic ocean instead. After just drifted for a while we started the engine. Got visited by some dolphins today as well. During the evening the wind picked up and we hoisted the sails again and during the night we took down the main again as the wind turned again so we sailed broad reach/downwind again.

Food in the making.
Day 15 – JAnuary 1, 2021
  • Distance latest 24hr: 137 nm
  • Total distance: 1632 nm
  • Breakfast: Freshly baked buns with marmalade and tea
  • Lunch: Pasta with pesto
  • Dinner: Red curry fish stew
  • Sunrise: 09.49 UTC

It was a pretty windy day, and also quite some rain. We sailed with the biggest staysail and made an average 5-6 knots, sometimes up around 7 knots. The waves are also a bit bigger than what they have been the previous days. We tried to watch some movie inside the boat but it was warm, humid and rolly so nice to go out in the cockpit after a while. Saw a container ship which passed quite close to us (less than 2nm). Saw some dolphins again.

Day 16 – JAnuary 2, 2021
  • Distance latest 24hr: 144 nm (record!)
  • Total distance: 1776 nm
  • Breakfast: Freshly baked buns with marmalade and tea
  • Lunch: Pasta with pesto
  • Dinner: Red curry fish stew
  • Sunrise: 09.59 UTC

Made really good speed all night and continued like that throughout the day, thus the record. We still only sailed with the largest staysail, but we made good speed anyway and it felt safe. When we ate breakfast a big wave washed up into the cockpit and washed away Thomas last sandwich. We both got quite wet and we had some water inside the boat as well. We got a mail from home that the volcano on St Vincent (where we were heading) might have an eruption and that people living close to the volcano should evacuate. Other than that we spent the day as we usually did, reading and listening to music. It was quite cloudy all day but with a semi-cool sunset. During our entire crossing we never had any really beautiful sunset, quiet disappointing actually.

atlantic crossing
One of the best sunsets we had during the crossing, we were quite disappointed at the sunset we had… No superpretty sunset at all.
Day 17 – JAnuary 3, 2021
  • Distance latest 24hr: 133 nm
  • Total distance: 1909 nm
  • Breakfast: Freshly baked buns with marmalade and tea
  • Lunch: Pasta with pesto
  • Dinner: Omelet with corn and bacon
  • Sunrise: 10.08 UTC

The wind was still string during the night and we continued making good speed, and no rain this night which was really nice. In the morning the wind calmed down and we tried the genoa. Compared to the cloudy yesterday, today was very clear skies and sunny. We caught another Mahi-Mahi, which we put in the freezer to eat when we had arrived. As we got closer to land we got more lazy with the food, and made mostly simple meals.

Afternoon-nap.
Day 18 – JAnuary 4, 2021
  • Distance latest 24hr: 125 nm
  • Total distance: 2034 nm
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with cinnamon and sugar topping for Petra and peanutbutter topping for Thomas
  • Lunch: Pasta with pesto
  • Dinner: Ramen-noodles
  • Sunrise: 10.18 UTC

Now we had gotten really close to the Caribbean and we spent most day watching the horizon after land, checking on the plotter how far we had left and just waiting instead of doing something with our time, like reading a book like we usually do or prepare a good dinner. Finally when the sun was about to set we spotted Barbados.

Sunset when we spotted Barbados.
Day 19 – JAnuary 5, 2021
  • Distance latest 24hr: 140 nm
  • Total distance: 2174 nm
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with cinnamon and sugar topping for Petra and peanutbutter topping for Thomas
  • Lunch: Pasta with pesto
  • Dinner: —–
  • Sunrise: 10.28 UTC

We sailed pass Barbados during the night, and it was quite unusual to see so many lights in the sky again. One fly-fish got into the cockpit this night. We have had a lot of fly-fish on deck during the crossing but this was the first that flew into the cockpit. It was a sunny day and we were really happy when we spotted the very lush island St Vincent. We arrived around 13.30-14.00, after 18 days at sea, to Young Island Cut where we took a mooring in the quarantine area. We were scheduled to take our tests the day after. We sat down in the cockpit and opened our bottle of champagne we had gotten as a gift from our friends on the crossing.

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Land ohoy! (Or second land, we had spotted Barbados the day before but now we spotted St Vincent)
Approaching the very green and lush island St Vincent.

More about the test procedure and quarantine days in next post.

Atlantic Crossing – Part 1

The time had come for us to start our Atlantic crossing and prior to departure we had to sort our some paperwork. As it is a pretty unusual year with the virus we had to contact authorities in the Caribbean before we left Cape Verde to make sure we were allowed to enter. We had decided to sail to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The reason was because there is a lot of islands there to explore and a place we can stay in for a while and hope that movements between the islands becomes easier.

We checked latest information on noonsite.com and got okay that we were allowed to enter Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Our time at sea would count as part of quarantine and when we arrived we would need to take a test (60 USD/person) and when we got the test result we would be checked in and allowed to enter the country. We didn’t only prepare the paperwork, we also prepared some food for the first days, bought vegetables and fruit and cleared out of the country (first a visit at Customs office and then Immigration office).

We had decided to depart together with Svala and they had a broken hatch which they waited to have repaired. So we waited on anchor until they got their new hatch. Never been more ready for a crossing than this.

Day 1 – December 18, 2020
  • Distance: 0 nm
  • Breakfast: –
  • Lunch: –
  • Dinner: Pasta with pre-prepared lentil bolognese
  • Sunrise: –

When Svala finally got their deck hatch we pulled up our anchor and started our sail to the Caribbean. It was pretty late in the day, about 4-5pm and when we left Mindelo there was a lot of dolphins jumping around the boat. There was some acceleration between Sao Vicente and Santo Antao and for the first part we made really good speed. But when we came behind Santo Antao the wind died out and it was very rolly. As we both started to feel a bit seasick we wanted to get out of this place as fast as possible and find the wind again, so we started the engine and ran it until we got far away from Santo Antao and we got some wind again.

Waiting for Svala.
Svala got their hatch and we were ready to start or Atlantic crossing.
Day 2 – December 19, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 108 nm
  • Total distance: 108 nm
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with bananas
  • Lunch: Dryfood (but Petra couldn’t keep hers)
  • Dinner: A Mars-bar and chips for Thomas, nothing for Petra
  • Sunrise: 08.07 UTC

Both of us had started to feel the seasickness and Petra threw up a couple of times. Thomas managed without throwing up, but was still not feeling very good. It was a slow day and we were really glad that our windvane worked so well so we didn’t have to worry about the steering. It was a tough night, mostly due to the seasickness, but we managed to get through it.

(From the first days we don’t have so much pictures taken, due to the seasickness. You just have to imagine two tired humans staring at the ocean waiting for it to pass)

Day 3 – December 20, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 127 nm
  • Total distance: 235 nm
  • Breakfast: Müsli with milk
  • Lunch: Dryfood
  • Dinner: Pasta with pre-prepared lentil bolognese
  • Sunrise: 08.16 UTC

Our seasickness was much better this day, still we both felt it but way better than before. Petra rested a lot during the day, a bit tired after not being able to eat or drink properly the first days. This day was also a very calm one and we didn’t do much. Svala caught up with us again after we lost each other the first day when we started the engine.

Day 4 – December 21, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 120 nm
  • Total distance: 355 nm
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with bananas
  • Lunch: Pasta with pesto
  • Dinner: Pasta with pre-prepared lentil bolognese
  • Sunrise: 08.25 UTC

This day the seasickness had improved even more. We had sun for the most part of the day which was really nice. The winds were stable and we made really good speed. We saw Svala all day. We tried to fish for a while, but with no luck.

Day 5 – December 22, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 139 nm
  • Total distance: 494 nm
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with bananas
  • Lunch: Freshly caught Mahi-mahi with Canary potatoes and Mojo Verde
  • Dinner: Pasta with pre-prepared lentil bolognese
  • Sunrise: 08.34 UTC

The night was pretty calm, but we started going on a more northely route to stay together with Svala. We ran the engine for a while during the night when it was at its calmest to charge the batteries. When morning came we set the genoa (we sailed with one of the smaller staysails during the night). We tried fishing again and almost immediately caught a small mahi-mahi. But it was so small so we decided to through it back in again. We tried again and caught another mahi-mahi, a bit bigger than the first one so we kept it and made a nice lunch out of it. From the moment we caught we had it on the plate ready to be eaten in less than one hour. Now that is fresh! In the afternoon we sat in the sun for a while and took a well needed shower. We drove close next to Svala and took some pictures.

FIrst fish-dish of the atlantic crossing, served less than an hour after we caught the fish!
Happy that seasickness is over.
Day 6 – December 23, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 125 nm
  • Total distance: 619 nm
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with bananas
  • Lunch: Fruity baked mahi-mahi
  • Dinner: Fish tacos with papaya-salsa.
  • Sunrise: 08.43 UTC

The night went on without any bigger happenings. As the night before we ran the engine for a while when it was calm to charge the batteries. Svala had come a bit behind us but as we had a pretty small headsail up already we didn’t want to reduce our speed more. After the nightshift had ended (during the crossing our night shifts looked the following: Thomas started shortly after sunset with a 4 hour shift, followed by 2 hours for Petra, Thomas again 2 hour shift and then Petra took the morning shift; 4 hours. We think this worked pretty well and it was nice to not have so long shifts in the middle of the night) Petra took a nap and almost immediately we caught another mahi-mahi, we brought it up and cleaned it and so on. Petra continued napping and Thomas sat with the shortwave radio for a while and made contact with a guy in Sweden. It was a sunny day and we spent the afternoon chilling and reading.

atlantic crossing
Our fruit-net. The fruit lasted quite long and we tried to eat from the things that would go bad first and check the fruits and vegetables regularly.

atlantic crossing

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Fish cleaning!
Fish tacos!

Fruity-baked Mahi-Mahi.
Day 7 – December 24, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 109 nm
  • Total distance: 728 nm
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with bananas
  • Lunch: Christmas rice porridge
  • Dinner: Swedish Christmas dinner: Pickled herring, potatoes, egg, salmon, hovmästarsås
  • Sunrise: 08.50 UTC

Christmas Eve! During the night one seam of our biggest staysail broke and we had to take the sail down. We hoisted our middle staysail instead, so we didn’t make very good speed that night. We ate breakfast and listened to Christmas music. After we had a nice Christmas porridge lunch we sailed close to Svala (but not to close, still had to talk via the VHF) and had a Christmas swim at 5000 meter deep water (but still 25 celsius). After the swim we hoisted the sails again (genoa+whisker pole) but it was to little wind and too much waves so the genoa was just flapping. We changed to the middle staysail and started repairing the biggest staysail so we could use that again. After we were finished we had a nice Christmas dinner.

atlantic crossing
Christmas swim!
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Christmas sail repair.
As good as new!
Christmas dinner.

Day 8 – December 25, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 101 nm
  • Total distance: 829 nm
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with bananas
  • Lunch: Foil-baked mahi-mahi with spices and fruit served with sweet potatoes
  • Dinner: Pasta with pre-prepared lentil bolognese
  • Sunrise: 08.56 UTC

During the night it was not so much wind, but when morning came it picked up and we could make better speed again. We sailed with the staysail we repaired the day before and so far  it has worked really good. We caught another mahi-mahi, a big one so now we had fish for a couple of days. During the day it rained quite a lot, which made it very humid and warm inside the boat. We started to watch a movie but paused when the sun came out again. As our VHF-antenna has pretty bad reach, Thomas tried building a new one and with the homemade one we got better reach so when we arrive to the Caribbean we will probably buy a new one. The afternoon and evening was very rolly and it was a challenge to prepare food. We watched some movie before we started the night shifts.

“Chocolate balls”-fika in the making.
Day 9 – December 26, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 129 nm
  • Total distance: 958 nm
  • Breakfast: Freshly baked carrot bread with fried egg
  • Lunch: Pasta with pesto
  • Dinner: Pasta with pre-prepared lentil bolognese
  • Sunrise: 09.04 UTC

The night was cloudy (which means pretty dark as the moon couldn’t light up the sky) but we made good speed with our biggest staysail on the whisker pole. As we had run out of bananas we baked bread for the first time this passage. We spent a lot of the day in the cockpit, reading cruising guides, listened to reggae and dreamed about when we would arrive. The salinator on our watermaker had some problems, it rejected all water, so that is something we will have to look at when we arrive. We still have a lot of water left so no nothing that we have to fix immediately. We had now lost Svala completely, they were a bit slower than us, but this day we saw another boat on the AIS, a Spanish boat that also had sailed from Cape Verde. We had some “fika” in the afternoon, oranges with almonds.

Day 10 – December 27, 2020
  • Distance latest 24hr: 105 nm
  • Total distance: 1063 nm
  • Breakfast: Freshly baked carrot bread with fried egg
  • Lunch: Fried fish with Canary Island potatoes and Mojo Verde
  • Dinner: Pasta with pre-prepared lentil bolognese
  • Sunrise: 09.11 UTC

Another calm night, except a big shower that cleaned the boat of all salt. As we’ve done before we ran the engine for a while during the night when it was calm to charge the batteries a bit. During the day it wasn’t very much wind either, but very sunny. We didn’t do so much during the day, read and cooked. We had some issues getting reception for the shortwave radio so we couldn’t send or receive e-mails. Before dinner we took a shower.

To be continued…

Part two of our Atlantic Crossing can be found by following the link HERE.