Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gibraltar to Tenerife Day 1

1120 UTC
Postion:35,05.869N 008,42.505W
Sea: 4-6 feet winds East 15-20kts

Yesterday we left Gibraltar on the outgoing currents.
We left the fuel dock around 0845 local after taking on almost 1,000 liters of diesel.
After a bumpy start the seas calmed down and we had a nice motor sail thru the strait into the Atlantic.
Incredibly my cell phone worked till almost 3pm when Spain was out of sight, so i had one last conversation with kate before I got out of range.
Later in the day as predicted the winds and seas picked up and by sunset we had 20k sustained and the seas built to 7-9', but it was right off the stern so it made for pretty nice sailing. Our 24hr log showed us at 162nm for the day.

Last night around midnight I noticed the winds were starting to get a bit fickle and just after I got off watch the autopilot was switched over to wind vane steering rather than following the GPS. Overall the winds thus far have been from an almost perfect position and we are making good time.

We were treated to an excellent sunset last night and when the sun dropped we had a thin sliver of a crescent moon for an hour or so and then a moonless night. There are so many stars however that the horizon is visible and the deck is bathed in a soft starglow. Then this morning I was on the 0600-0900 watch (the sun comes up here around 0830) so I enjoyed the start of the day. There was a slight reddish glow on the southern horizon which I think might be some fine sand that is blown off of the Saharan Desert when winds blow from the east.

It's now Sunday here - we are in our second day enroute. The Seas have been a bit confused so we have a basic wave train from astern but also some that come from the side and add to our motion. The crew is all in good spirits and healthy. Jonathan is now on the stern with the fishing line out trying to land us some dinner. Last night we had a fine meal of some frozen Lasagne (thanks Jodi - Yum!) Maybe tonight we'll have Mahi!

I'd like to welcome our newest eilean blog follower - Johns Mom. She told me that if John gives me any stuff to email her and she'll take care of me. Its nice to know I have my back covered there too! :-)

We are on a 3 man rotating watch system. We each stand a 3 hour watch, so it means you stand 3hrs on and then 6hrs off. Of less of course you are needed then its all hands on deck. Last night I had the 9pm to midnight (2100-2400hr) watch. When I got off at midnight I hit the sack and let the motion of the ocean rock me to sleep. When you lay in your bunk there are all sorts of sounds... The creaking of the ship, perhaps some ropes slapping, stretching or groaning, and of course the water. The water rushes and gurgles past the boat, the bow wave breaks, the sound of the foam, and then of course the sound of the waves outside breaking.. You can get a sense of what it's like outside just listening to the sounds, and feeling the motion.

Today the winds have backed off a bit and our sailing speed has dropped so we started up the engine and are now motor sailing. That is, we still have the sails up but are running the engine to add some speed.

Last for today was the ships. It's amazing how much shipping traffic is going thru the strait of Gibraltar. We were on constant watch for hours as traffic approached from all over the place but as the night wore on and we moved further off of the coast it slowly dwindled and by midnight or so we were pretty much alone. Our course is first taking us straight out into the Atlantic about 100nm where we then started to curve southwest and parallel the coast of Morocco for about 500 miles to the canaries. Last time I checked we had about 460nm to go to Lanzacoat which is one of the more northern of the islands. We will travel another 1/2 day or so south of there to Tenerife, so I guess we have 530nm or so to go on this leg. Our ETA right now per the GPS is Thursday morning.

At 11/27/2011 02:51 UTC saling vessel JAY SEA DEE was at 35°26.86'N 007°44.03'W sailing at 6.4 knots on a course of 244T

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