It always takes more time than expected. But this time we did fairly well. Two weeks ago we decided that we’d dare the Atlantic crossing and head for the Caribbean. We estimated that we need 10 days to do the most important remaining boat jobs and to prepare for the voyage. In the end, we needed 14, which is really ok. Some pictures of that work with descriptions can be found in the gallery below. Next to some fixing jobs and maintenance (e.g. broken support of our anchor winch, autopilot freezing, exhaust pipe leak, hand bilge pump not working, oiling the teak in the cockpit, varnishing some of the interior wood), we also finally made our oven seaworthy (it now tilts correctly and we found and installed the potholders), checked and tuned our rigging, bought paper and electronic nautical charts, improved our medical kit, and got a satellite phone. And then of course, we had to go shopping, because the passage across the Atlantic will be roughly 2700 nm or about 21 days (let’s cross fingers). I think the market women fell in love with me this morning, so much did I buy… they even called their husband to deliver everything to the boat. Of course, we also have canned food and lentils, pasta, rice, quinoa, and such stuff, as well as 26 L of Müsli. And we hope to catch a fish on the way (besides this Naïma is mostly vegetarian). We also stocked about 300 L of drinking water, 56 cans of coke, 48 cans of apple juice, 20 L of milk, and of course beer, wine, and gin, 5 litres of olive oil, 3 litres of balsamico, and a lot more. Most of the packaging did not enter the boat to avoid cockroaches that put their eggs into the cardboard. Our water tanks are full and our gas bottles filled. Engine is checked, pre-filter and gear oil changed. Basically, the only thing left to do tomorrow is to store our folding bikes and fill our diesel and gasoline tanks. Then we should be ready to go. We are happy and excited. And a bit tired from the last days. But that is part of the adventure. Naïma looks really well organized (for once), but must feel under the surface like a pregnant oyster. The weather forecast promises NE wind, which is what we need. We’ll head south for the Cape Verdes for about 6 to 10 days and then turn right and hope that the trade winds take us safely to Grenada (probably, as we’ll do some of the destination planning on the way). If we do encounter problems (e.g. the autopilot) then we’ll most likely make a stop in the Cape Verdes. So, off we go!
By the way, thanks to our new satellite phone, you’ll be able to follow our track online! See the bottom right side of any page or www.svnaima.com/position.