We have been following Barton customers, John & Alex as they continue on their adventure into the Atlantic Ocean aboard their Halberg Rassy Ketch, ‘Free Spirit'. After making their way to the Cape Verde Islands, they sent us their latest diary entry. Here are some extracts:
"We left Las Palmas after awaiting 3 weeks for the southerlies to turn to northerlies and not wanting to miss this window and be held up in the Canaries, we decided to head straight to Cape Verde. 870 nautical miles to go!
"We had some good and lively sailing for the first few days. Each evening, on the SSB radio we listened to ‘Herb's net' (for those who do not know ‘Herb' is a German fellow who sits in his Canadian home routing yachts across the Atlantic), giving advice on where the wind is and what to avoid! It appeared that above the Cape Verde Islands was an area of no wind! So we kept well East along the African coast to pick up the wind but eventually had to head towards the islands and ran out of wind - we were becalmed for 24 hours! Unfortunately we had to put the engine on and all in all we did approx. 90 hours under engine. Not what we had planned! The passage took 9 days and we arrived under a full moon into Mindelo Harbour to drop anchor and get some well earned rest.
"We had several bites on the fishing line and eventually caught a Dorado (known as the dolphin-fish, Mahi Mahi). It was well timed as our meat supplies had just ran out...
"Our next leg will be Brazil. We plan to make land fall in Salvador de Bahia... ...The distance is approx. 2000 miles and we expect it to take around 17 days... ...We need then to find somewhere safe to leave the boat for 3 months as we have a 3 month contract for work in the Falkland Islands!"