Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV in the trade winds - hopefully for keeps
After a long and frustrating Saturday when we (again - sigh) had to use the engine for a large chunk of the day and following night (with only 2-3 Kts of wind, there's no way our boat moves in those conditions), today has proved to be a lot better. As (more or less) predicted, we hit the trade winds (very light at first) this morning after breakfast. We then spent the rest of the morning setting the boat up for downwind sailing. For this we used the "Chris Tibbs set-up" (he described this well during one of the seminars we followed in Las Palmas). So our main and genoa can be furled at will, whilst keep our pole in place (and the boom too - thanks to a boom brake and a preventer). We can quickly reef down and up when needed! The wind has crept up to 12-14 knots and this fills our sails. read more...
Ngahue IV - Another day on Ngahue IV
Today, Saturday, has been a generally very satisfying day. We had very useful and "sailable" wind until about dusk. As per our Grib files, the wind has now abated to about 6 knots from a southwesterly direction. Still enough to get us to the Cape Verde islands where we hope to pick up our trade winds tomorrow (late?) afternoon. Those trade winds have been very elusive so far, playing their manana, manana game for the last couple of days. They were always just in the next "weather box" (the ARC organisers have, for the purpose of their weather forecasts, divided the Atlantic into boxes for which they supply customised forecasts) and there for the next day. Quite frustrating. The Azores anticyclone seems to be on a walkabout and not where it should be!Towards sundown, a school of dolfins. read more...
Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV update 24-11-2017
Together with Geronimo, Chantana and Libelula (our close - and only - neighbours on the AIS), we have now embarked on a "deep south" route which is taking us all the way to the Cape Verde Islands! Having grappled with long windless moments, given up sailing in despair as a result, and switched on the engine in the search of wind, and having studied all the met information at our disposal this morning, we decided to head south (or more correctly south-east) in the hope of picking up the trade winds in a couple of days. We had several very useful chats on the VHF with Chantana, who had come to the same conclusion. And so off we went, soon joined by Geronimo and Libelula.We're sailing close-hauled against 17-18 knots of southwesterly wind; the sea is quite lumpy and despite our moderately. read more...
Ngahue IV - Ngahue IV - in search of decent wind
Much of yesterday and today has been dominated by the ups and downs of the favourable winds that we would normally expect to pick up south of the Canary Islands and which would have propelled us across the Atlantic. Alas, our wind-instrument has failed to find any suitable wind, and after much deliberations just now, and seeing some other boats in our vicinity (their number has been dwindling rapidly as we have been sailing slowly in the rearguard of this year's ARC) moving off much more rapidly that us, we've put on the engine to bring us to that golden waypoint (20N/30W) where all our troubles should be eased... and hopefully before.The weather today has been fine, and we've been getting rid of the white colour that's so typical of Brussels-based office people... We saw some squalls on. read more...
Ngahue IV - Update from Ngahue IV
We've had our first full day at sea now. After a (very) slow start yesterday (Sunday) across the departure line - a venerable Hallberg-Rassy 53s does not move fast - we set about catching up with the rest of the ARC fleet as he headed towards and entered into the "acceleration" zones which are just under each of the Canary Islands. Though just as we began to enter into the jumble of the other boats at the back of the ARC fleet, we hit a wind-shadow spot just south of Gran Canaria. All progress halted; sails needed to be rearranged. An hour of so later, as our boat speed picked up again when we found some useful wind, we could start thinking of joining the fleet's rearguard again.Today, Monday, has been a bit of that too. The better wind at the beginning of the day has died on us as we. read more...