12.11.12 – Day 4: (+32.400 -16.6100)
Passing round Madeira’s outer islands, just a few miles south of the harbor of Funchal on the southern coast of the island. I could enter the harbor, but it’s about 01:40 in the morning and rather than test myself, I’ll be prudent and wait for first light to enter the harbor. I need more fuel as well to continue on, and I am sure the station is closed this time of night! (From what I’ve exerienced this summer, Europe hasn’t adopted the 24-hour “you want it-we got it” mentality of the U.S.)
It’s another calm night, as I’ve sailed myself into the middle of a large high pressure system with almost no wind. The hillsides of the island are full of lights, which are sweet to look at, and the temperature is pleasant … maybe 60 degrees, which makes it easy to sail slowly back and forth out here.
We’ll take another look at the weather tomorrow and assess the chances of getting under a ridge of high pressure that is coming this way. I’m not too interested in “floating” across the Atlantic. We’re looking for some sailing winds here – and sooner rather than later! There is some hope that the tradewinds will settle down towards the end of this week, which should make the passage a fun one.
So, until later, it’s check the surroundings, nap some and wait for dawn … due at about 08:00 hours!!
12.10.12 – Day 3:Â (+ 34.00 – 27.00)
It’s 01:05 on Monday, UTC. My speed has been about 6 knots all along, as there has been little wind. Right now, it’s just amazing out. Very calm … the waves have gone still and the water reflects the stars … with the phosphorescence kicked up by the wake of the boat, you sometimes can’t tell the difference between the sky and the water … giving the appearance of sailing through the heavens… which I think I actually am.
That is a regular phenomenon I remember on the Great Lakes in the spring, when the warm air doesn’t come down quite far enough to touch the cold water … so you have enough wind to sail, but the reflections of the sky, clouds or stars are perfectly clear. They call it “sailing through the heavens.” That same look is what I’m seeing here, though I am motoring, and not sailing … but still, it’s an awesome thing.