Heading south for the Cape Verde Islands back in December.
In late November we were involved in film work in La Gomera which we managed to fit in between voyages. It did mean a change in start port for our new voyage crew joining us for the voyage to the Cape Verde islands. We booked them all ferries to travel to Tenerife instead of Las Palmas and we met the three travellers in San Miguel marina on the 27th of November. Grayhound was fully stocked with stores dry and fresh ready for the passage, travelling through out the Cape Verdes and the Atlantic Crossing. Provisions are expensive and seldom in the Cape Verdes so it was important to stock the ship to its full capacity. This meant bringing the ship along side and using the halyards to bring the bags aboard.
The forecast looked favourable but light for the first week. This passage is renowned for its steady N / NE trade winds so we expected the winds to carry us quickly South. But…….sailing is of course unpredictable , we were certainly not expecting the complete lack of wind that we got for the whole 700 miles. The result of sailing to a time table we had to push on !
Our beautiful shiny red Beta 90 proved its worth and it motored us to Sal in 8 nights. Our voyage crew had therefore a different ocean sailing experience to the one expected. I feel it is true to say they loved it. We had a awesome group of young professionals on board. A lovely lass from the Scillies who ran her own cafe on St Mary’s ( sounds amazing go in the summer if you can it’s called Dibble & Grub we will be taking our crew later in the summer)
Arturs was from Latvia and was working in the music industry and Ben worked in engineering and was very keen and good at Lego construction ( always plenty aboard seems to be enjoyed by all !!!)
The three voyage crew stood their watches with watch leaders Melissa , Laura and Marcus. The up side to having no wind is you get to see more wild life and the most incredible skies, sunsets and sunrises. It also gave Astro navigators Marcus, Freya and Laura plenty of time and flat seas to scrub up on the sight taking and reduction making, we got some very accurate plots which was most satisfying. The crew all enjoyed learning about the subject too. The phosphorescent dolphins were the best we had ever seen , sparkling torpedoes through the water , blowing air bubbles that flashed under water. Amazing!
Freya had time and energy to bake the Christmas cakes for the Atlantic passage and gave every one a real variety of dishes every day to keep it different. Every one kept cool and clean chucking buckets of sea water over them, lathering up with soap and rinsing off with their ration of fresh water
We arrived in Sal a close team and we had made new friends. We were all blown away to be in a far off land after travelling by sea for 8 days. Palmeira was a great welcoming port, we took a bus to the local time to get a few fresh supplies and the locals took us into their houses to fill up our water cans.
“I have had such a fantastic time on the Grayhound and I just want to thank you both for making it possible in the first place with your vision and moreover for making it so very special.”
“Skipper! Did I ever luck in when you drew me as watch mate! Thank you so much for your patient instruction, explanations, demonstrations and generally for the massive amount of knowledge I have accrued on this trip. I thoroughly enjoyed every watch no matter what time and it was a pleasure to talk with you on so many topics!”
“………thank you for sharing so much with me and allowing me to have such a fantastic new experience, and thank you for being the individuals that you are that made it so special!”