It is now Wednesday.

The Canaries are 170 or so miles away and we have been at sea for 4.5 days, so I thought I should catch up with the blog and tell you a bit of what it’s like out here!

There is beginning to be a rhythm to the day. With only two of us, we tried to do 4 hour watches, so that we got enough rest, but the ‘on’ time was a bit long and we weren’t sleeping for the whole 4hours anyway……..We are now doing 3 hours on and 3 hours off and that seems to suit us better.
Fitting in time to cook, when you feel you should be sleeping, and then time to eat what’s been cooked, before retiring on a full stomach has proved more difficult than we envisaged. With the 3 hours there strangely seems to be more time at the right time of day for our stomachs…….something to stick with for The Big Crossing!

There is something very calming being on watch alone on this first taste of the Atlantic and although the waves roll up behind us they pass smoothly underneath us and we gently surf down the swell . The sea is a deep liquid blue, that reminds me of the colour of Daddy’s eyes, the crests of the waves hold a moment of transparency before they break and chase off past us.

We chose a good weather window for this passage and despite winds yesterday of force 5/6, the boat is sailing very well and we nearly caught up with Claude and Gaëlle before IK decided to remind us who was boss, and broke her auto helm! Up until then she had been behaving very well. It is strange to ……..

NEVER, NEVER tempt fate by making ‘everything’s going well’ comments!
The abrupt end to my sentence was because the wind suddenly got behind the sail, gusting a 22 knots causing the boom to swing over in an uncontrolled gibe. The main sheet clutch failed, letting out all the main sheet and the boom preventer, in trying to do its job, managed to break the forward top guard rail on the starboard side…..luckily not the one Seth fixed in Brighton!
The silly thing is that a boom brake is on our list of things to buy in the Canaries…..it’s now moved to the top of the list, closely followed by finding a good rigger to replace the guard rail!
Since the Autohelm went down at 0100 two nights ago, we have been getting used to steering with the Hydrovane. It makes less noise and uses no battery power, although it weaves a lot more than the Autohelm……Every problem a learning opportunity!!

We arrived here in Santa Cruz,Tenerife at 1600 on Thursday, having covered 500 miles under Hetty the Hydrovane’s helpful hand.
By Saturday evening we had mended the Autopilot, re strung the courtesy flag halyard to the spreaders, rigged the SSB cable (with spacers!) to the back stay and had the two forward top guardrails replaced by an expert!! Not a bad days work. Marcus keeps saying ‘cruising is just boat maintenance in exotic places’. After having been hauled up the mast and folded double in the aft rudder-stock locker, I tend to agree!

Today being Sunday, we did a couple of jobs this morning and then took the tram up to La Laguna, which is a UNESCO site and was the first capital of Tenerife, before Santa Cruz was developed.
Tash, Chris, Charlie and Freya are arriving for the half term break this evening and we are looking forward to seeing them. They will be our first visitors from home since we left Waterford in July.

I will update with photos a.s.a.p.

3 Comments

  1. Well done Haywards. Just read your blog. Say hi to Tenerife from me. Love the place.
    When are the kids joining you?

    Would be nice to Skype at some point. Please email me and let me know.

    House move scheduled for November 1st.

    Carlos & Maureen

  2. Hey you Haywards,
    Sounds like you had a great sail down to the Canaries, let me know when you can accept us for a couple of days , would love to see you,
    Divorce due 10th Nov.. Yeah…!!
    Keith n Liz.

  3. John & Deborah.

    Dear Marcus and Margie,

    Your description of your voyage to the Canary Islands took me back. I will always remember the clean air, sparkling starlit skies and the gentle swell caused by waves the size of houses. The most incredible part was the smell of civilisation that we experienced as we approached the canaries! There are so many aspects of life and living that you don’t appreciate or experience until you spend lengthy times at sea as you both, dear friends, are no doubt discovering.

    Now you have a good amount of recovery time to relax in warm climes before the Easterly Trades decide they are ready to take you on your exciting Atlantic voyage in November.

    God speed and yes…I’m envious.

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