Day 4 out of Lanzarote. 2200 miles to go.
We’re experiencing about the most steady trade conditions I’ve sailed in. Last year I made a solo delivery from Santos, Brazil to St Maarten in the Caribbean which was 33 days at sea, and the last 10 days of that trip we’re certainly great sailing conditions, but this is about perfect. Don’t want to test the wind gods or jinx us, but we can only hope for more of the same. We’ve had 20-30 knots between NNE and ENE since about 12 hours out of Lanzarote, and nothing in the forecast but the same. That being directly on our stern we haven’t been able to exactly lay our waypoint, but we’re easily making 200+ nautical miles a day and with 5 people onboard, there’s no shortage of quiet time between watches. We’ve been at full main the entire trip and from time to time get a good enough angle to get the genoa out, but mostly we’re just cranking along downwind under main alone.
The excitement today was a visit by a large pod of dolphins and other than that we look forward to Brad’s tasty meals- each one seems better than the last. Sitting on the bowsprit cranking along watching the dolphins play gave me a moment to reflect on the benefits of sailing a cat, this being my first time. Most are obvious: much much faster, way more stable, tons more space, but there’s also a host of other things I’m surprised to find make the sailing a lot more pleasant than with a monohull.
You can cook with nothing flying around; there’s nothing to constantly knock your head on and leave large bruises- an expected regularity with monohulls; the work space is massive- no crawling around bent like a pretzel trying to get to filters and belts; lots more privacy; of course all the amenities you would never have on a similar sized monohull- dishwasher, laundry machine, ice maker, etc.; they’re exponentially easier and safer to sail- massive decks, huge working surfaces; efficient and sensible sail plan. In fact after 2500 miles I can see only one drawback:
We’re sailing too fast to catch fish!
Photos courtesy of Tim Collins