fredag 25. juni 2010

Marina Mindelo!

We arrived in Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands this morning. It took more than the week we anticipated, but then we have not motored at all. There was a steady wind from NNE, which meant we had to gybe some times. The boat was rolling in the waves, so the activities onboard were limited to reading, some games, cooking, eating, sleeping. But every day seemed to be so short we seldom felt like arranging more than two meals a day..
Today is Bank Holiday and the Immigration and Customs are closed. So we will have to wait till tomorrow for the bureaucracy. Now we'll test the showers in this quite new marina. Then we'll have a look at the surroundings. Might be football from South Africa on the big screens here, too? It's Brazil against Portugal today. Wonder which is the favourite in an old Portuguese colony?

Gjertrud

Thorsteins blog's from last week

Blog 1
The first days towards Cape Verde
Now we've been out at sea for 36 hours, so I guess it's time for the first report. I must say things have been very nice so far, with decent wind (at least until lately) and not too bad waves (they are quite tall, but they aren't steep, so it's just a continuous roll). Everything seems to work the way it should. We are testing the wind rudder for the first time, and so far it works very well. I've named it HAL (not the official name yet, because of resistance from my sister <.<), as it's reliable like the original as long as you don't feed him lies :p It has steered the boat steadily, almost without a sound. And all the power it needs, it gets from the wind! We've also tried the towed generator, but the wind dropped, so our speed isn't sufficient for it to spin fast enough. The solar panels work pretty well though ^^ We're currently powered 100% through renewable resources!

Blog 2
Hello, time for a new update! I'll start a few hours after I left off last time. I was sitting inside reading when I suddenly hear my sister shout that she sees a large fish! Everyone go up, and there it was, a sizable dorado, looking almost fluorescent in the evening light. It swam lazily beside and behind the boat. It was a very nice fish, and we'd heard it was also very nice tablefare, so we got the fishing rod outside. Sadly, it didn't seem all too interested in either the "squid" or "wobbler" we tried, and dinner was ready, so we packed up the fishing rod for the day. The next day it was gone. Better luck next time I hope :p

In other news, the 100% renewable energy run we had resulted in the battery decharging far enough for the voltage to fall too low for our electrical systems to keep going. The diesel beast was the only sensible option. After a while we noticed the charge regulator that the solar panels were connected to had partly melted. Disconnecting it, and connecting our renewable energy sources straight to the battery, we saw a large increase in charging capacity. Now we just need to make sure the voltage doesn't get too high.

Finally, we've gotten some wind again! It started yesterday, and apparently the combination of 2-2.5m high waves and 20-30 knots of wind was a bit hard for HAL to handle. We've managed to tweak things a little, so now HAL steers quite well again. We're going at a steady 5-6 knots, sometimes more. Cape Verde islands on Wednesday?

Blog 3
Hello again! Here's a blog from 20*17.5 N 23*21.5 W :) We've now been at sea for a week, and HAL is stearing better than ever! We hardly do anything to steer the oat at the moment, so we get a lot of time to read, think and just look at the sea. Yesterday we were visited by a large group of dolphins that played around the boat for the good part of an hour, surfing on the waves. It's hard to get tired of watching their acrobatics!
This morning we also found flying fish on the foredeck. We'd heard everyone talk about them, but we hadn't really checked until now. Most seemed pretty stiff, probably had been there for some time, but a few still seemed edible, so in the pan they went. They did taste pretty nice! We've also seen more and more flying fish around the boat, jumping out of waves, sometimes in lare schools. They really do seem to fly, although they only float on the wind. But when you see them do bird-like manouevres it's hard to believe that's all they do.
If we're to determine a time of arrival based on our average speed until now, we'll get to the Cape Verde islands on Thursday. We're planning to stop at Sao Vicente for a couple of days. Will keep in touch!

søndag 13. juni 2010

We are leaving Las Palmas!

Tomorrow we are leaving Gran Canaria, Spain and Europe. We are heading for Cape Verde Islands where we plan a short stop before continuing our journey to Brazil. Whether we end up in Fortaleza or Cabedelo in Brazil depends on the weather and currents. This morning another boat came in to our pontoon, and they are heading towards Cape Verde and then Trinidad in a couple of days. This means we might have some company on our way over. The bad news this week was the spotting of a cockroach in the pentry.. We hope for the best, that it was a lonesome fellow with no ability to lay eggs...

tirsdag 1. juni 2010