The first day of our westward Atlantic crossing was filled with friendly dolphin, fresh winds, and just a dash a of fear. With the port of Las Palmas still in sight and the sound of the starting gun ringing on our ears, a giant pod of frisky dolphin joined us as we headed out to sea. The variable winds at the start had the WIDAGO crew running to swap sails last minute, since it was a touch to beamy for the parasailor. However, as we made our made out of the mayhem of the starting pack and into open water, we popped the chute of our big blue Whomper, and began flying downwind. Chris Tibbs wasn’t joking about that acceleration zone south by the airport – although Ahab might say we read our wind speeds a bit high, we were seeing steady winds at 25-28 kts, and gusts to 31. Along with some steeper wind driven waves, those “fresh” winds helped us clock record breaking speeds registering 17.8 kts. Let’s just say I wasn’t having as much as the captain as we were hauling a$$. In fact I may have had to have an outfit change.
Due to the pushy seas and brisk winds, Ahab was hand steering the whole time we had the parasailor up – and then it started getting dark. I had no desire to hand steer downwind in 25-30 kts, surfing down the waves going 15 kts. No thank you. We managed to get the sail down without losing anyone overboard. Re-running our Genoa sheets provided some entertainment, as Ahab had recently replaced the the lines with 14mm dyneema that seemed a bit chubby for the clutches. Like shooting pool with a rope.
We are sailing overnight with just the Genoa out. Seas are bit a sloppy, but we are depowered enough to reduce my anxiety and nausea to manageable levels. Boys are all well, and no one has barfed….yet.