Back from Christmas holidays/meeting the familys we arrived tired the night to 31.12. in Las Palmas. Fortunately our friends from S/Y Amiga and Chansen invited us for early dinner on New Years Eve. Later most of the Vikings joined the pontoon party. We had music, some games and finger food. 23:00 Scandinavians celebrated the First Happy New Year and 24:00 everybody . With Fireworks, Big Ben’s Ringing and everyone tried to sing Auld Lang Syne (thanks to our British Boat). The next few days our to-do- list just increased. Rigg Check, spreader Protection, fill up with fuel and water, provisioning for 4 weeks. Fruits and vegetables should partly be available at Mindelo. New sun panel and alternator-battery-charger needed to be installed. We prepared food for the first 2 days.
The briefing through the organisers of the Viking Explorers rally Micke, Oliver and Carlotta took place in the Royal Yacht Club Las Palmas 2 days before the start.
To clear out from Europe at the Maritime Boarder Police gave us mixed feelings. Exciting but serious at the same time.
Now the big adventure should start…..
On Sunday the 5.1. the first boats started early in the morning. Until we were ready it was late afternoon…and we sailed into a nice sunset.
Half of the night we saw still Gran Canaria’s coastline and had internet connection. So we heard about the first boat of our group that had to go back because of an accident. They hit an underwater rock, the boat serious damaged and had to cancel the journey for this year. The first night was quite comfortable sailing but we couldn’t sleep very well. Next night our oven jumped out of its suspension with a loud crash but luckily Torsten could fix it. From day 3 as predicted wind and waves raised.
Our Windpilot did a great job but it couldn’t cope with the gusts which reached up to 40 knots maximum. And the waves pushed the stern aside. So we had to take over the steering regularly and ended up in 2 hours shifts for 2 days until it calmed down a bit. Torsten just felt a bit seasick in the beginning but I ate sea sickness pills all the time. Daily we saw flying fish and during the nights they landed on the boat. Finding them dried in the morning. Luckily the full moon illuminated the nights with its silver strip on the water.
After 7 days we arrived tired but happy at Mindelo Marina, a quite windy place. Luckily we got help of the other vikings to berth. During the crossing we got salt water into the aft cabin and we needed most of the time in Mindelo to find and tighten the leakage which in the end was a missing plate under the pulpit screw.
Torsten got an unintended bath together with the demounted pulpit and lost his glasses. But among the Vikings was free diver Mikael who got them up fast. Outside the EU the paperwork increases, we had to clear in first at the Marina Office, then at Immigrations and Customs at the main harbour. 3 days later same procedure for clearing out.
Buying fresh fruits and vegetables at the vendors market place and having diner at the floating bar were the highlights in between all boat fixing to prepare for the crossing.
17.1. we left Mindelo, heading southwest. Destination Blue Lagoon at St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
We spent 19 days at sea, it was much more comfortable sailing then during the first part. We did 4-5 hours shifts, meeting each other shortly for shift hand overs and spending some hours together in the afternoon. So we spent plenty of time lonely in the cockpit watching the deep blue ocean and clear blue sky with its different shapes of clouds, feeling the rhythm of the waves passing by and the wind caressing the face. Often a bunch of flying fish lifted out of the blue beside the boat, airborne for a few seconds vanishing into the waves again. Every day we saw a few lonely storm swallows and sometimes gannets surprisingly far from land which made us happy because of feeling a sense of community spirit. During the night the hours passing by starring at billions of stars drawing pictures in the dark. Sometimes a star came falling down, but impossible to find out which was missing. There was plenty of time for contemplation without disturbances. No internet, Telefone or TV. Just books and music. We slept, prepared food, baked bread, ate, read books and kept the boat sailing. We tried fishing but didn’t caught a single one, weren’t not really sorry about that because we escaped killing a fish feeling sorry about that. Through satellite phone we got weather reports, stayed in touch with family and some of the other boats.
During the night before last 2 exhausted birds landed on the bimini. A small storm swallow and a young gannet. Luckily they missed the rotating blades of the wind generator and rested for several hours until late morning. Pretty cool to be in company of these creatures just one meter away. Night 18 we saw a gleam of light illuminating the night sky above Barbados on the starboard side and the next day Captain shouted “Land ahoy”. During the whole crossing we got no rain but 3 hours before landfall a rain front with heavy gusts crossed our way, forcing us to get the sails down. 4 hours after sunset we dropped the anchor outside the Blue Lagoon St. Vincent After 2700 NM and 19 days at sea. Cleaved feelings! Hallelujah moment and a bit of sadness because the great journey ended.
The next morning we moved through the coral reef pass into the Laguna.
During the docking manoeuvre with“help” of marina stuff we ended up with a mooring line wrapped round the propeller shutting down the engine 3 meters away from another boat. So quick as a flash Torsten dived under the boat and disentangled the propeller. Finally we moored Lucky Star
heralded by the other Viking and got traditional greeting rum punch 10 o’ clock in the morning which made us light-headed.