Mindelo – Marin

Statistics
Sailed miles – 2.156 nm (3.993 km)
Engine miles (without wind 29/11/2018) – 40 nm (74 km)
Sailing miles – 2.116 nm (3.918 km)
Maximum speed – 13 knots (24 km / h) surfing
Maximum wind speed – 40 knots (74 km / h)
Average ride – 5,99 knots (11.09 km / h)
Engine hours (charge batteries) – 60
Fuel consumption – 128 l
Water produced on board – 1.960 l
30 recipes to serve 150 meals and 14 breakfasts.

Finally the desired moment of the great crossing arrives. We all are ready, crew, Lolita and our Joao Costa, Jeff.

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November 14th, we released as moorings with a generous weather.
Leaving the marina was quiet with fair winds and the channel between two islands, São Vicente and Santo Antão, was pleasant to sail with comfort. I must point out that in the week we stayed at the marina in Mindelo the winds arrived inside the marina with 40 constant knots and the gust reaching 55 knots. It was good to leave quietly.

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With a basic route mapped out, we began our daily routine of with Jeff, our land man, friend, sailor, and meteorologist.
This routine passes through the contact 3 times a day, 08:00 / 12:00 / 20:00 UTC, where we indicate our position and some elements such as i.e. heading, speed and direction of the wind, wave, etc.
Jeff on the ground with his means manages to have a global vision of all the meteorological system of the North Atlantic and from this information and is knowledge we are making adjustments in the route in order to avoid to be without wind or have too much wind. As I said, a precious help.

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The days go by and we have had the grace of Neptune, good weather, good wind and a favorable current.
The on-board routines slowly set in, and everything slowly became normal after the excitement of the departure.

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On board we keep the UTC hour and all life is done at this hour, watch rooms, meals, etc.
As we advance in the longitude we make small adjustments at mealtimes to keep a spindle from where we are and avoid meals taking place late at night for example.

Difficult this logistics of the meals, managing the food for almost 15 days of sea for 5 crews isn’t a easy task. In the first week the fresh ones abound, after only some fruits that embarked very green and the frozen. We passed to the dry food, pasta, rice, etc. and canned. And of course there is a lot of imagination for the menus!
They were cooked 30 different recipes to provide 150 meals and 15 breakfasts …. You need to be very creative!

I have to mention the management the garbage, which is in quantity!
On board we have 5 liter bags in the bathrooms.

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In the kitchen we used 30 liter bags

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When these are full they go to 100 liter super resistant bags and placed on the outside of the sailboat.

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On evenings that are expected to be more windy, by security measure we raise the main sail. In the morning, if time permits, we return to the full.

In one of these operations returning to full sail that on November 17, when the sail went up a cable was trapped and the big sail ripped.
We finished lowering the main sail, partially withdrawing from the mast and proceeding to repair by seam the tear and finally applying a special sail patch on each side of the seam. It seems to have been okay. When we arrive we will have to go to a nightclub to do the final repair.
For security reasons we stopped using the second raise.

 

Ted started fishing, his first attempt with motivation and the effort came with reward, two small tuna and a small dorado.
Ted demonstrated a expert ability to clean the fish!
They are moments of great enthusiasm on board and motivate the crew.
For that night this fish was converted into an excellent fish soup with sweet potatoes and vegetables.

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In the first week we always had a spectacular sun with temperatures of around 30 degrees. The baths with sea water bucket on deck have become a must no one wants to miss!

We begin to feel the change of climate, more typical in these latitudes. Heat, sudden rains and talk of tropical rains, rain cats & dogs. With the heat that makes itself felt, a new opportunity opens regarding the baths with these great showers.
In these photos we can also see some formations of interesting clouds and that generally comes with rain and wind!

Day 18 I see that the boom has a strange movement next to the mast, nothing serious but it has to be stopped before it gets complicated. Drill, 4 holes, 4 rivets, work done.

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We have been experimenting with all kinds of sails configurations. Lolita navigates well with any of them. Only with the main, only genoa, genoa and butterflies, but the winner is the parasail. This sail is outstanding, 10 knots of wind and a surface speed of 7 knots. With the parasail we arrived several times at 12 knots surface speed with comfort and security.

I have to go back to the fishing theme because today was the day of a great dourado. Nice teamwork between Ted, the fisherman, Arek and me. An huge fish.
But what makes me come back is a new fishing school that was born aboard the Lolita during the leg between Las Palmas and Mindelo. Javi Fishing Style JFS.
Its founder and great guru is Javi …… Sophisticated technique abed at stern with a relaxed air up foot to fool the fish and is infallible.

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He left on board two disciples, Ted and myself.

It gives results my friends. We know that Javi is about to edit in book the 10 commandments how fishing in sailboats.
The results of this sophisticated technique are visible in the beautiful dorado picked by Ted picked. Gave to us 5 meals…

Today we have a mix in the oven, tuna and dorado fillets accompanied with pumpkin puree mixed with couscous, traditional Lolita recipe.

Teamwork is improving and become well-organized Ted with the Arek. Cristina gives a hand in the deck and the cleanings.
I am responsible for navigation, maintenance, food and crew/vessel. The cleaning of the dishes alternates between Arek, a specialist, Cristina and Ted.

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November 21 we drop a message in a bottle. It was impromptu, there were no bottles on board and we use a jar…
We drop the bottle here

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The bottle had some Lolita stickers and the following message:

“SV Lolita is a sailing boat.

We are crossing the North Atlantic from Mindelo, Cap Verde, to Marin, Martinique.

More or less at the middle of our trip, coordinates 17º 09’ 24,000’’ N – 041º 52’ 54,000’’ W, we launched over board this jar with this message with the hope it arrives somewhere and be found by someone.

So, if you found it, please tell us where you found it by mail info@svlolita.com and post a photo in Instagram with the hash #svlolita #svlolitainajan

All the best and fair winds

Sign by the skipper and the crew.

North Atlantic, 2018 /11/21”

The drop!

Enthusiasm on board!

The speed is kept high and we concludes that the watermaker does not work more than 8 knots! In the hull where the intake pipe of salt water with the speed is generate small balls of air that make the high pressure pump stop. We had to reduce the speed to 6 knots in favor of fresh water 🙂

We kept our AIS and radar at its maximum range, 24 nautical miles (44 km) and did not see any boats. Alone in the middle of the ocean! Throughout the trip up to 20 miles from Martinique we crossed 3 freighters and a sailboat.

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The only visits we got are birds, dolphins and, imagine, flies ….

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Today was the day to wash the flag of the Clube Naval Luanda, my Club. After the stopover in Mindelo was filled with dust, “como na banda ….” (reference to Luanda)

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Another problem, now with the water maker, the power cables were loose and bad contact. It was tightening the cables and it was brand new! Easy …. it seems! The difficulty was identifying the problem. Several hypotheses placed, air in the circuit, filters, valves, etc. It was just two badly tightened cables …..

Beautiful rainbow

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The crew invents things to do, Ted went to study 5 years aeronautical engineering for this, to throw paper tubes to which he calls plane …

Couldn’t get the avio tube to fly went to the prow to try to find the solution. Have to fly…

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The wind and the sun are an excellent source of energy and they give us a very great autonomy to navigate.

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From a certain moment we begin to find the famous seaweed sargassum infestant. Incredible, these plague were followed for days.
They were deposited in the propeller to the point of blocking it. We had to go back and forth to undo what was caught. The sailboat mat looked like a vegetable soup ….

 

On the last day we caught a small tropical storm that gave us a good run with winds of 30 knots. However, as it is said, after the storm comes the bonanza, we ran out of wind which forced us to motor, for the first time in 14 days, for about 8 hours.
Fortunately, the wind returned and we managed to sail. It would be inglorious after such a great voyage to reach Martinique by motor …..

Earth in sight!

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The enthusiasm of sighting land is enormous after so many days at sea. Some euphoria on board and we think about the beers in the fridge for arrival.
It is rule in Lolita not to drink alcohol during travel, dry law!

Captain preparing for landing lol

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The approach to land was done with tranquility and finally the AIS was filled with small points, very sailboats to sail.IMG_2199.JPG

We went to the access channel to the marina and we arrived. Impressive the amount of sailboats that are anchored in the anchor and the marina. Le Marim is Martinique’s largest charter base and one of the largest in the Caribbean.

Finally berthed and with the formalities of entry settled came the much desired shower…

Now rest

Later repair the minor breakdowns of the trip and prepare for the next leg.

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