A beautiful day (Adam Spargo/1st mate)

A beautiful day (Adam Spargo/1st mate)

Well, what a beautiful day! Since the day after leaving Baiona, we have had strong Northerly winds, which have been good for our progress south but have built up bigger seas than I have seen before. It was great to see the change in direction from westerly to northerly swell. Last night as it was getting dark I saw three separate waves – one northerly, one westerly and one something else, break one after the other at the top of one huge crest. This change in direction means that the different wave patterns interfere with each other and generate waves that sometimes are the height of all patterns combined, sometimes canceling each other out. The effect is that you have huge waves occasionally but not in a predictable pattern. Everything has to be super sea-tight or else it is gone – cups, water bottles, even people. It is a credit to the safety policies on Tres Hombres that safety lines are rigged and everyone on deck is clipped on from their harness, otherwise people would be thrown around the deck and even over the side. This morning the wind has reduced a little and the waves are coming much more regularly from the north. Although one managed to find its way into the toilet this morning before I had properly woken up, which was a surprise. People are starting to find their sea legs today with the more settled conditions, latent seamanship is starting to emerge, people are walking more confidently down the deck, looking for jobs to do. Trainees are learning to steer the ship, in still quite challenging conditions, but it seems easy compared to last night. Broken lines are being replaced, loose ends are being whipped and spliced but there is still a lot of sitting and staring at the stunning seascape all around. I may even get time to catch a fish later, but first coffee. We are now less than 200 NM north of the height of Madeira, doing a steady 8 knots. Tomorrow morning we will look at the new weather forecast and decide if we go there or not. As the forecast is it will be sensible to carry on to La Palma using this wind to best effect, but if we don’t like anything on the new forecast we can easily go to Funchal and let it pass. I have mixed feelings, Madeira is lovely, more lovely than the canaries in my opinion, but we have an appointment to take our first cargo of rum in La Palma!

Adam

Sustainable transport over sea. Tres Hombres, Nordlys, Ecoliner, Clippership, Noah, Fairtransport, Fairtrade, Logbook, shipping news.