Looking at the forecast whilst in Lisbon I thought I best allow up to 2 weeks to get there. I wasn’t particularly keen on testing patience for that length of time so it was awesome that I had about 15 knots on the quarter nearly the whole way. 5 days it took to get to the Canaries, I even set a new personal boat speed record of 8.8 knots. She’s speedy… It was the most fantastic 5 days of sailing, mostly clear skies which was great as it meant I could get sun sights every day. There were a few times when the wind dropped to nothing and we simply drifted with the current, a few little squalls came through but nothing dramatic, all in all pretty perfect!
Having spent 2 months working on the boat in Lisbon she is in ship shape to leave for the Caribbean. Everything fixed and now fully stocked for the next month, there is not a single bit of free space in any cupboard, every nook and cranny is filled with either spares or food.
A final trip up the rig to check everything and the same on deck and we are set to go. 2800NM to Antigua, going the southern route. The trades are that little bit stronger further south so we will make the most of fast downwind sailing. At 5-6 knots it will take about 3 weeks to get there.
Same as the trip down to the Canaries I am doing it without gps. I have gps onboard so its quite a challenge to not look at it, but its such an incredible feeling when you hit land (not literally) knowing that its just the sun that got you there, or the stars. All part of training for the Golden Globe, the first time I cross an ocean using just celestial navigation cannot be on the race, and plus you can never have too much practice at taking sights.
My brief stop in Lanzarote has been superb, meeting some wonderful inspiring people in the marina, which is so often the case with boating!
I have had to delay one day, its bad luck to leave port on a Friday...