Video: Sailing the Falkland Islands. Music “Songs of Our Friends” by Lemont.

We sailed to the Falkland Islands in December of 2019 from Uruguay. We were impressed with the people, wildlife, and the weather. Thanks to Lemont for loaning us their song (lemontmusic.com).

Video: Cubic Mini Cub Wood Stove

We are loving springtime in Uruguay, and we’ve made the time to reflect back on winter in Uruguay with our new Cubic Mini Cub wood stove. We hope you enjoy the video!

Thank you Chuck for bringing us the wood stove, and for all the tips on birding!

Integral Water Tank: Summary and Repair

We repaired our integral water tank a few months ago, here in Uruguay. This video is a recap of the build project from two years ago, and details of the recent repair. Overall, the integral water tank has been a vast improvement. It is easy to clean and fill. We are happy to make use of the space below our cabin sole that was filled with foam. The 65 gallon water tank makes long term cruising much easier.

 

Video: Refinishing the Bowsprit

We move about the world at an irregular pace.  Occasionally we sail fast and appear to be on track to girdle the entire globe in a year.  Other times we seem stagnant, as if we have arrived to our destination and our journey is over.  Of course neither is true for long.  No matter how fast we sail, we will slow down sooner than later.  Dawn Treader, Debbie, and I can only pretend so long before we reveal our true slow natures.  But when we seem most stuck, we are actually purposefully moving to rest ourselves, prepare our boat, and wait for a season to arrive.  Continue reading Video: Refinishing the Bowsprit

Video: Brazil to Uruguay

Brazil is ENORMOUS!  2000 miles and 7 months later and we have still only seen a minuscule fraction of this fascinating, beautiful, energetic country.  In the maps of our minds, we have now illuminated the coast of Brazil from Salvador to Rio Grande do Sul. Continue reading Video: Brazil to Uruguay

Video: Sailing from Cape Verde to Brazil

Our blogging hiatus is over! We have new electronics and a new video!

Early this year we had an great passage from Brava, Cape Verde to Salvador, Brazil. The first minute of our new video shows clips from day one of an 18 day voyage. We set sail on a very wavy day, and had fresh winds for three days. Continue reading Video: Sailing from Cape Verde to Brazil

Video: Sailing the East Atlantic Islands

Over the past few months we have been sailing Islands in the Azores, Madeira, Canaries, and Cape Verde. In the Azores we experienced variable summer winds, and from Madeira southward were the Northeast Tradewinds. All in all, the sailing was quite lovely. Next, we’ll be crossing the Atlantic to South America.

Fishing in Cape Verde

Approaching 4 weeks in Mindelo and fully recovered from a stomach bug, we decided it was a good time to move. After scrubbing below the waterline and filling the water tanks, we checked out of Mindelo to sail 130 miles to Tarrafal on Santiago. The passage was short, under 30 hours, but proved to be exciting. Continue reading Fishing in Cape Verde

This week…sailing to La Gomera

Monday-October 31, 2016-La Palma and La Gomera, Canary Islands

Early in the week it rained as a weakening low pressure system slowly made its way over the area.  We used the time to organize the Nav Station and get caught up on some cleaning.  When we had breaks in the rain we walked around town.  Santa Cruz de La Palma looks very different depending on the time of day and day of the week.  During siesta it is quiet with hardly anyone about.  On mornings a cruise ship is in port, the town almost feels like a tidy theme park.  During the evenings most tourists are gone, and the cafes buzz with conversant locals and musicians.  All of Santa Cruz’s aspects are pleasant and I do like the town.

Despite the attractiveness of La Palma, we felt quite ready to leave.  We wanted to go somewhere we could anchor out and enjoy some quiet.  Valle Gran Rey in La Gomera is that place.  Friday, the lingering low had dissipated and the Southerly wind shifted slightly to the Southwest, just enough to give us a favorable tack.  We left before the predicted calms settled the area Saturday.

We departed La Palma and had an exciting few hours close hauled in a Canary Island wind acceleration zone.  These are areas where the gradient wind can be greatly increased do to the Islands’ topography.  Many times these zones flank an island’s wind shadow making an obvious border between an area of calm and a zone of near gale force conditions.

A few hours out of La Palma we had transited the acceleration zone and were making good course in diminishing South Westerlies.  It was an awesome starry night of sailing with La Palma dead astern, Tenerife fine on our Port bow, El Hierro broad to starboard, and La Gomera dead ahead.  Though the sky was apparently clear of any clouds, heat lightning awed us throughout the night, first above Tenerife then La Gomera.

Saturday morning Dawn Treader was ghosting in light air and La Gomera stood 5 miles ahead.  Through the morning our speed steadily dropped. 4 knots, then 3, then 2, 1, and finally we were becalmed, drifting half a knot in the South setting Canary Islands current.  We tried to be patient with the wind, but after a few hours we decided to use our outboard engine to motor up to what appeared to be a patch of wind around La Gomera’s western promontory. I am still impressed with how well the 6hp engine pushes us along.  At half throttle we made 5 knots.  The patch of wind was the slightest of air and from astern, so not good for sailing.  We continued to motor for an hour, and then the wind eventually filled in from the port quarter.  We secured the engine and sailed the remaining 5 miles to Valle Gran Rey, first at 3 knots then 4, then 5.

The anchorage is wide open, and the conditions were about perfect for anchoring under sail. We approached on a port tack beam reach under reduced sail.  When we reached the spot just downwind of where we wanted to anchor, we rounded up to stop the boat, and furled the headsail.  I walked forward and took a sounding with the lead line while Debbie doused the Main.  I sounded 25 feet of water, then let go the anchor and paid out 110 feet of chain.  This all happened during the course of one exciting minute.

Now we are settled into La Gomera.  We love it here and look forward exploring this beautiful island.