Day 3 of the voyage from Tenerife to Cape Verde

It's been a sunny warm day with a constant wind of 20-25 knts blowing us parallel to the African coast. It's a shame we didn't decide to get within sight so we could claim Africa this year rather than next. Cape Verde is technically part of Africa apparently but that's like saying that Jersey is part of Great Britain.

We have had some stronger winds during the first night and occasionally during the day. We are on a port tack broad reach with the wind on our port quarter. There are about three different swell patterns, the biggest coming down from west north west with a 10 second interval and 1.5 - 2.5 m in height, then there is the swell due to the wind which, considering we are 140 miles off the coast, I thought would be bigger than 1 - 1.5 m then there is a third swell which is much harder to determine but is there and occasionally makes itself known which a slap against Tin Tin's side.

We settled into a 3 hr watch system very easily. With 3 crew this means that we don't need a dog watch to avoid us always taking he same watches. so we do 3 hrs on watch and 6 off. Meals are usually at the 9am and 6pm change over and lunch is around midday. With the sun setting at 1800 we like to have supper watching the sunset!

In between watches we sleep, read, check on the battery levels and start the generator if necessary to keep the freezer and all the electrical equipment going. We started the water maker up for the first time today and it all seemed to work OK. In Tenerife Stuart and I put new rubber feet on the machine and added a flow meter so that we could more accurately estimate the output and manage our supplies. We have been quite frugal to date using only a little over a 100 litres between us. The water maker is supposed to be able to produce 90 litres an hour. We are running the generator about 3 times a day for an hour so we will start up the water maker during a daytime run. As long as the generator keeps on working we should be able to have enough water for brief showers to keep us a little fresher!

We are officially in the Tropics now having passed the Tropic of Cancer overnight. We shan't leave them until 2018 on the way to the Azores from Bermuda! That seems like a very long way away right now.

We have some wildlife sightings to report! Several pods of dolphins have visited us, one pod was easily identifiable in our marine mammal guide as Atlantic spotted dolphins with distinctive freckled markings all over clearly visible in the daylight. The others were mostly during the night so it's not possible to say what species they might have been. We have also seen two turtles, a swallow, a butterfly and a couple of petrel of some sort, we couldn't see the colour of its legs or its beak which would have helped! I'm looking forward to seeing some tropical bird life as there are Booby and Frigate birds around Cape Verde and hey apparently have some nesting colonies.

More immediate matters concern where we drop Stuart off. A: in Sal where the immigration process apparently requires us to get to the airport, but after the flights have all arrived or, B: on to the capital Mindelo another 60 miles away. With he frequency and reliability of local flights and ferries unknown it seems we are going with the first option, in which case we might pick up Anne and Niall for the sail to Mindelo. Beccy, Kyle and family are due to join us in Mindelo on the 17 for a day sail or two.

Our schedule was to depart for our Atlantic crossing on the 19th but we really need a full day or two to give the boat a good clean, find, get and store our supplies, rearrange berths to accommodate Kyle and Niall and their luggage and do a thorough check on rigging and equipment before setting off. I don't expect to be leaving before the 21st.

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