Fair bit to catch up on in this log as we have been too busy to get it written while in Mindelo.
Starting with Friday evening our first dosage of drama. Around 1am while I was on watch the GPS system and autopilot decided to shut down at the exact time of a fairly drastic wind change. Add this sudden loss of control to the fact we were flying our parasail Asymetrically and the resulting swing of the boat managed to wrap the parasail around the furler. As all the crew rushed up on deck we worked to turn the boat to release the parasail only to realise we had just succesfully wrapped it around the furler a second time. A moment of realisation and some shouted instructions and we were back at it working the actions in reverse. Parasail tangled on the mast spreaders and three quickly working crew members gave everything a bit of a tighten, a bit of a loosen and a bit of a wiggle until we had the parasail flying properly again with only a minor tear in the bottom right hand corner to show.
Hoping for a smooth entry over the line and into the harbour the following night turned out to be in vain. Saturday night came about and as the finish line came into sight we set to work taking down the parasail only to find that the wind had picked up to 22 knots at that least helpful of moments and the sock collar which is supposed to come down over the sail as soon as the tension is taken off of it was somehow tangled at the top (presumably a problem left from the night before midnight madness). The lack of tension on the lines and the inability to pull down the collar and contain our trusty parasail coupled with the 22 knots was not a good recipe. The parasail promptly separated itself from its seams and threw itself over the edge of the boat to fill itself with water. A brief battle between man and sail took place with the sail finally getting squished into a forward locker and the men in question left tired, soaking wet and feeling stressed. But at least the finish line was in sight and nothing more could go wrong correct? INCORRECT!
Motoring over the line and peering into the darkness we realised the GPS system had decided that now was another great time for it to play silly buggers. Not showing us our location in the harbour we resorted to shining torches into the darkness to watch our for the headland, pontoons and any of the multiple abandoned vessels that litter the harbour mouth. Attempts to radio into ARC control failed and were only answered when another nearby vessel relayed our messages in (Thanks to you guys!). A dinghy finally came out and we were moored up and all promptly decided to pass out and deal with any problems in the morning!
A few days in Mindelo, Cape Verde have passed now with all the issues getting worked through one by one. Boat cleaning and multiple trips to the supermarkets to restock our food and water all completed myself and Paul 'Fishie' decided to go on a half day tour to see some of the island. One hour in and the bus halfway up the mountain we promptly broke down. Seems like this bad luck is following us around!
As I write this we are sailing back into the harbour on Wednesday late morning after a bit of morning sail practise, in one hour we will cross the start line to begin our passage to St Lucia. The general consensus on the boat is that we have used up all our bad luck and will now have a safe, speedy and happy passage across. If we can also manage a fish or two caught off the back of the boat we will be happy chappies. So fingers crossed, apologies for the delayed blog and CHEERIO!!
Adele 1 Crew