Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 1

(December 22, 2017) It was hazy and dusty when we left Cabo Verde this morning. The visibility was not good. The harbor was crowded with new arrival of boats and ships. There was definitely Christmas air blowing on the island but it is time for us to sail.

We started with great sailing; wing-and-wing for four hours, making 7 to 10 knots/hour. Things were going well. However, right after a shift change (watch), I heard a big BANG. The heavy aluminum Jib Pole (expandable) got folded in half like a pretzel. We managed to remove the pole (now two broken pieces) and tied it down on the deck. Sails are all okay. We replaced with a spinnaker pole. It is shorter than the expandable jib pole but it still lets us sail downwind wing-and-wing.

Based on the weather forecast we monitored, John thought we don’t need to run the engine for next 14 days until we arrive at Suriname. Thus, he ran fresh water to wash the engine. He didn’t want to have salt water residue in the engine. This turned out to be his wishful dream. The strong wind has gone. We sometimes ran the engine to stabilize the boat from the waves. Big waves have been beating us all around for last 14 hours.

Rolling side by side and listening to bangs and loud water splash, I held two hands on the rail in my cabin trying to sleep. Impossible, physically and bio-mentally. If I feel this uncomfortable, I wonder how things on the boat remain unbroken. I really thought this sailing trip would be an easy one. It is turning out to be the most difficult one. The whole boat is like being inside of a laundry machine with the angry sea. We have about two weeks to go?

Kay Chung @0400 UTC on Saturday, December 23, 2017
GPS Position @N16.35/W26.44

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