A short report from us here in the Doldrums! We startet out from Cape Verde last Thursday, 9 days ago, after having given the hull a big scrub while at anchor off Santa Antao. We never visited this island, but were actually visited by some islanders who came swimming out! They were obviously curious about the newcomers, and what they might have been after was to make us come ashore the next day to be showed around. As we had cleared out of Cape Verde the day before, with the intention of leaving as soon as we had releaved the boat of some of the barnacles and whatever there was growing under the waterline, we didn’t want to take the chance of any trip ashore. To bad, probably, especially one of them seemed to be an ambitious young man who wanted to be able to make a living as a tourist guide. Anyway, the day after we left after some hard work with snorkel and mask and wooden scrapes. We had a good wind and headed south towards the island Brava, the most south-westernern of the Cape Verde islands. We never anchored there as we had sort of planned for, but decided to just continue towards Brasil.
After some good sailing, slowly, in light winds that is, we finally reached the Doldrums some days ago. But when is it that you have reached the Doldrums? What wind speed can it be and still be counted as the Doldrums? Of course we know there are squalls in the Doldrums that can have a considerable wind speed, but when the stable wnd from east comes well below 10 knot we regarded it as the start of the Doldrums. Then these last 24h we have had a stable wind below 5 knots, and that is really a lot less! The surface of the ocean is like a mirror, like we saw it in the film “Master and Commander”, when they were drifting in the flat seas south of Galapagos.Anyway, it doesn’t really matter what we call it. Until yesterday we chose to be purists, and did not start the engine once. But after some hours spent, drifting backwards at 0,5 knots due to the current (equatorial Counter Current?) we decided to spend some diesel. So now we have motored for the last 18 hours, and still there is not much wind to sail on. Eventually, however, we trust there will be wind again that will take us south-west towards Brasil.
On this passage we have so far seen lots of flying fish, a large group of dolphins and also a whale! The latter was of course the most fascinating, as none of us has seen one before! It even finalised the show with a flip with the tail before diving out of sight. It was really a grat view! We have also experienced the feeling of swimmimg in the see where the bottom is to be found 5000 meters below.. A bit thrilling, but hardly chilling as the temperature was above 30 deg in the water!
As I’m writing this the sun is rising and it looks as we are going to have another sunny day. No more squalls like the one two days ago, which gave us all a nice shower and also the ability to topping up the water tanks a bit. Next time we will improve the remedies for rain collection as it truly was a lot of valuable water hitting the boat!
Thats all for now, from position 9° 37N 26° 57 W.