Start the engine, pull in the anchor, hoist the sails and off we go. Adios Las Palmas, adios Gran Canaria. We are off to pastures new. Cape Verde next stop. Should take around 6-7 days but the wind forecast is a bit bleak, we might be on a slow run!! Never mind we’re not in any rush.
Straight into a watch system. This one’s a new one on us. Generally it’s best to have just three sets of watches that way you can do 3 hours on, 6 off (which is what we did from the UK with pairs of crew on each watch). Its really important that you get enough time off to be able to get a good sleep but also that you’re not on watch during the night for too long a spell such that its hard to stay awake. But with 5 of us and the skipper wanting to hold a watch too it’s a bit tricky. You can do 4 watches but then everyone is on at the exact same time everyday. Which can get boring. It’s much nicer if the rotation moves you on a few hours every 24 that way you get to experience a different part of the day.
After much deliberation and discussion we decide on 3 hour watches: us two doubling up and doing a watch together and the others doing single watches, that gives us 4 teams but we plan to have 3 watch crews in rotation and one watch crew that stands down for a day called the “mother watch” i.e. they do all the cooking and cleaning. We are rota’d for mother watch first and get started with fresh bread and flapjack making. Then marinade the chicken for tonights feast of Chicken mango salad which was a recipe Fiona gave us. (Fiona we met in Las Palmas and she is in the ARC)
Sleep?! That’s the next hurdle, getting used to another boat, it’s noises and movement especially sailing and not just at anchor. We are sleeping in the fore-peak, which is right in the nose of the boat. This can be quite tough with the bouncing up and down on the waves so will take some getting used to. The bunk is really high off the floor too as the sail locker is underneath, which makes getting in and out of it challenging. The guys are in a bunk room right beside us. They have issues as the top bunk bed squeaks quite badly not something we noticed at anchor. Then there’s the hydraulic furling (for winding sails in out) which none of us are used to so the 1st night not great but never it never is ….
Huw spent some time looking at the water maker as it is leaking, looks like the new filter has been fitted squinty but further investigation proves that the thread the filter screws into is shot to pieces and a bit cracked… unexpected water rationing is on the horizon!! Hopefully it won’t be a show stopper! As you can imagine, we need an awful lot of water both for drinking and cooking and cleaning. So what we do is make water for everything but drinking and we have a supply of drinking water but if that runs out we can drink the water from the watermaker it’s perfectly ok just has a taste to it!