Tuesday, May 16, 2017, Island of Madeira

For some reason, the land keeps moving. Hee hee. It is just our bodies adjusting to living on the land instead of the water.

The end of this marvelous voyage causes us to reflect on the impact sailing has had on our lives these past few years. We have been so fortunate when it comes to sailing and the people we have met. We have learned from every experience.

Sailing has, in short, enriched our lives in ways we could not have imagined. It has brought us closer together and provided us with meaningful experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. Continue reading

Sunday, May 14, 2017, Day 22, Sailing from Antigua to Madeira

Land ho!

Michael spotted Madeira during the last hour of his 2-5 a.m. watch. He came to our cabin at 4:50 to grab the camera, as the sky was a beautiful shade of dark pink. I was already awake, since my watch began at 5:00.

Madeira Island

We were still 35 nautical miles from our waypoint, but only about 17 nautical miles from the closest point of the island. Continue reading

Saturday, May 13, 2017, Day 21, Sailing from Antigua to Madeira

We started the motor during my (Cindy’s) watch: 2:27 a.m., to be precise. The rest of my watch was pretty boring and I was getting sleepy, so I decided to try to remember a movie title starting with every letter of the alphabet.

Why? Because Michael and I are creating a list of TV shows and movies that aired/showed prior to 1990. Yulia and Kirill told us that they didn’t have access to such entertainment until political changes in Russia allowed it in about 1990. Continue reading

Friday, May 12, 2017, Day 20, Sailing from Antigua to Madeira

Today is our penultimate full day on the Atlantic for this voyage. We will reach Madeira sometime early Sunday morning, likely under the cover of darkness. Hard to say for certain cuz we are, you know, sailing.

Kirill and Yulia

Yulia and Kirill are hoping they can get the engine (that died early in the voyage) looked at in Madeira. After Madeira, they have about 1200 nautical miles to go to reach Corfu, Greece. Continue reading

Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Day 18, Sailing from Antigua to Madeira

The wind was a bit too much on the light side today. We averaged just over six knots. We changed direction (off our course) for much of the day to catch more wind. We did the best we could given the conditions.

Distance to destination (DTD) 500 nautical miles

But it was sunny and lovely.

We switched to three-hour watches last night. So much better!! The moon was full (or nearly so), so it was very light when the moon wasn’t behind the clouds. Continue reading

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, Day 17, Sailing from Antigua to Madeira

Cindy’s single biggest challenge while sailing is being able to throw biodegradable stuff off the boat on the first try. Too often, the product hits something on the boat and has to be thrown again, or it simply doesn’t make it off the boat. So embarrassing! 😉

The ocean was friendly yesterday. Swells primarily from one direction (really!), about three meters tops. At 6:30 p.m. yesterday, we had 798 nautical miles to go.

The wind was light this morning, so we unfurled the Screecher. Within 15 minutes, a squall started to develop, so we furled the Screecher. Continue reading

Sunday, May 7, 2017, Day 15, Sailing from Antigua to Madeira

Well, we had ourselves some weather yesterday! All day.

The wind was erratic, both in terms of direction and speed. The boat speed topped out at 21.3 knots when we were surfing a wave. Top wind speed was 42 knots. Happily, that didn’t last long, and we had only two incidents above 40. The peak wind was caused by a fast-moving squall that passed by us about three miles away.

That said, the day was challenging. The seas continued to offer up waves from different directions, with different intervals and varying heights all day and into the night. The biggest swells/waves were five meters, and they were NOT rare. Continue reading

Saturday, May 6, 2017, Day 14, Sailing from Antigua to Madeira

Let’s start with yesterday.

The wind returned! We sailed all night with just the Genoa. At 9:30 a.m., we added the Screecher to sail wing-on-wing. By noon, the wind had picked up to 20 knots, so we furled in the Screecher. It then began to rain. By the time the sail and sheets were secure, Yulia and I were soaked through on the bottom half of our bodies, as we’d neglected to don rain pants.

Genoa and Screecher Wing-on-Wing

Kirill then deployed the main, and we made nice progress at 7 to 9 knots. We were also sailing in the right direction. Bonus! Continue reading

Thursday, May 4, 2017, Day 12, Sailing from Antigua to Madeira

Mother Nature has not been cooperating. Starting two nights ago, we motored 18 hours (through the night and into the next day). We sailed from about noon to 6:00 p.m. yesterday, then had to go back to motoring. We motored all night. One good thing about this: The light wind made it easy for us to empty four jerry cans of diesel into the tank. We also did some housecleaning. 🙂

It is 3:00 p.m. as we write this post. We have been sailing since about 8:30 this morning. We got tired of the light wind, so we changed direction to get to the wind. Unfortunately, we are not sailing in the direction we want to go. Continue reading

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, Day 10, Sailing from Antigua to ???

We neglected to post yesterday. No reason, we just forgot.

Yesterday was our 13th wedding anniversary. Yulia and Kirill gave us a beautiful agate sea turtle. In Russia, it is symbolic of a happy family. Yulia and Kirill’s generosity continues to touch our hearts.

Agate Sea Turtle

A brief recap of yesterday: We were close enough to a storm to the north of us to experience confused, whitecapped seas. When Kirill was on watch from 8:00 p.m. to midnight, the boat speed reached 12.1 knots when it was pushed by waves. If you aren’t a sailor, trust us, that is very fast! Continue reading