t’s that time again, one of us drives across the pond, this time it’s Mario’s turn. He was hired by Sailing Island to bring the Sea Change II, a Bavaria 55, to the Caribbean with 6 crew members. Here is a small blog about it …
A live tracker is available at https://www.worldcruising.com/arc/eventfleetviewer.aspx or with the YB Races app.
Let’s go towards Gran Canaria. With a bit of a delay, the plane takes off in Munich. In the evening I meet with the owner, at egg, two beers in the Sailor’s Bar in the Marina of Las Palmas, some news is exchanged and I get an update on the state of affairs at Sea Change II and with the ARC office.
In the morning I get a briefing on the boat, in the afternoon the crew gradually rolls in and the shopping is discussed at a dinner together. 20 days + 7 people = a lot of food.
While part of the crew does the shopping, there are still a few construction sites on the boat to be cleared. Mask off the split pins, upholstery spreaders, so that the tall doesn’t get chafed on the long downwind blows, look for the cause of the water in the engine compartment, make the satellite phone that it can receive emails and weather data connected to the PC. And of course the obligatory visit to the ARC office for the next few days to clear up any ambiguities.
After the shopping was stowed away in the morning, after a safety briefing, it goes out on the water for the first time. However, with little wind. The 18 tons of the Sea Change II don’t really want to move 7 to 8 knots. Under Genaker it works to some extent, 200 square meters more help just fine. When we drive back to the port, the engine briefly runs out of the marina entrance because it runs out of fuel. So drop anchor, spark the marineros and pray for towing aid and half an hour and 90 € later we are back at our place. Where the engine starts and runs as if nothing had happened. Probably a piece of dirt has settled in front of the intake manifold in the tank and then magically loosened it again. And in the evening, of course, still in the ARC office to give our on-board email address after they have informed us that it is unfortunately not possible to start without receiving email on board. In the past it was somehow possible without …
The list has gotten longer … Install a new starter battery, because the engine only starts when the generator is running, seal the water filter from the generator because it leaks, bunker diesel, get skipper briefing, fishing accessories, again in the ARC office because our on-board email address not working, etc. But everything is done with combined strength and in the afternoon everyone has one or two hours to see Las Palmas. In the evening the last sundowner organized by the ARC every evening, dinner and a last night in the harbor.
19/11 [70 nm]
Of course there is always something to do in the morning before the start. Create a Sailclear account for clearing in St. Lucia, fix a few small things on board, get fresh bread, say goodbye to the new dock friends.
At 12 o’clock it is then time to “Cast off!” and with the engine and with many spectators on the pier, we head towards the start. Things are still going well there, but the Sea Change II doesn’t like the little wind in the first few hours. Things will go better in the afternoon with Genaker. The wind continues to freshen up, the Genaker goes down shortly before sunset and under large and jib it always goes along the coast. The boats keep scattering, but you can always see a light or two. At night there is up to 30 knots of wind from the northeast, which allows us to make fairly rapid progress and after another jibe south of Gran Canaria, the course to our first waypoint is 100 nm northwest of Cape Verde.
11/20 [156 nm]
In the early morning it is still blowing heavily from NE and we are making a good trip south. In the morning the wind then turns east and decreases slightly to 3 to 4 Bft, we run at 7 to 8 knots half wind towards Cape Verde. After breakfast, the fishing rod is deployed, but with manageable success. The first fish goes off the hook again, the second tears off the bait completely, whereupon the fish hunt is stopped and postponed to the next day. There is still meat in the freezer. We see our first dolphins and slowly an on-board routine begins with cooking, steering, sleeping, eating, crushing garbage and drying the engine room bilge, where the generator’s seawater filter still seems to be leaking. As we are having dinner, Bob, a Farr 52, who is lying next to us in Gran Canaria and should be far ahead of us, overtakes us. Apparently they have a little bit to do with their long blow to the south