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ADDITIONS TO THE BLOG as of the 2nd March 2015 (NZDST): Shamal and her Crew are in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. * Previous voyages will now be under the heading "Maps of Previous Voyages". * Should you want to contact us you can do so by clicking on the Contact Us tab below. * We recommend that you subscribe to the Blog, so that new posts are emailed to your inbox.

09 February 2015

Leg Three of the Altantic. Cape Verdes - Barbados.

114 SHAMAL & DEJAVU in Mindelo Once again it’s time for another departure.  Alec has been hoisted to the top of the mast to check the rigging.  We hoisted some buckets of water up to him to wash some of the Sahara dust away. All halyards and sheets have been double checked for chafing.  He has dived underneath and checked rudders, props and the hull in general.  He has even given the hull a clean. Weather has been downloaded and supplies stored. As it is Friday, and we hope to leave at 0800 Monday morning, we have even been able to do our check out formalities.
001 Leaving Mindelo, Cape Verdes

Lloyd on DEJAVU – his Seawind 1000 – is also ready.  Together we spend the last evening ashore enjoying a lovely steak dinner at one of the local restaurants.  Markus, Lloyds young crew member, is off with some friends watching the local bands getting ready for Carnival time in a few weeks.
109 Dinner out in MindeloThe winds are still blowing a good 25kts here in the bay at Mindelo. It has got to the stage if they drop to 10kts we now think it is calm sitting out here. While we have been in the bay there is one small yacht anchored in front of us that lost its mast on the run down from the Canaries, a second yacht arrived with a broken boom, and a third put out a Mayday only 18nm out into the Atlantic with a broken rudder !!!
002 Santo Antao from Canal de Sao Vicente As Monday morning dawns we see the Island of Santo Antao, only eight miles across the channel, for the second time since we have been here.  This morning it is lovely and clear.  DEJAVU has upped her anchor and leaves the bay 30 minutes before us – 0730.  We follow her out into a rather lumpy channel with winds gusting 33kts and a 4mt. sea running.  We have third reef in the main and a reefed jib. As we pass the southern tip of Santo Antao it reminds us so much of Oman – high mountainous, dry and rocky, but quite spectacular.  The visibility really is great. Ahead of us is the BIG blue Atlantic!

18 January 2015

Leg Two Of The Atlantic. Canaries – Cape Verdes

061 Las PalmasTuesday 30th December. Early Evening SHAMAL and DEJAVU are both sitting at anchor outside the marina in Las Palmas harbour.  Again the weather has been downloaded and charts all checked and studied.  It looks like we will have more winds for this leg making it possible to sail nearly all the way. We have another run of just over 850nm on this leg.
002 SHAMAL at Fuel Dock Las Palmas So an early night is decided upon to be bright eyed for the morning. Alec and I are up and almost ready to depart by 7.30am on Wednesday 31st December.  There is no life on DEJAVU initially.  Then we see them stowing things away.  By 1045 Alec and I are becoming a little impatience so up anchor and motor on over to find the boys enjoying a leisurely breakfast.  Then Lloyd tells us he just needs to stow his tender, but, also will wait another hour for the winds to come around more to the east, as they were around to the south-east.  We told him we would motor on out of the harbour and see what it was like out there. We did so very slowly expecting him to join us a little later.  Once we were clear of the headland we raised the sails, reef in main and jib, and had to tack along the coast to clear the Island.  Still no DEJAVU.  Then he radioed to tell us his crew member was felling seasick – oh help they are still at anchor!!  Then he told us he would not be leaving that day and we could call in at the Navel Bay further down the coast.  We did not like that idea as we had a couple of fish farms to contend with and no charts showing rocks or depths.  Also the seas were pounding in on that side of the Island, so we told him we would push on, and now that the wind had come around to be more of an easterly at 18kts we were being carried along nicely.  As per usual the winds did swing around from time to time and we found ourselves off on a tack.  It was not a nice feeling carrying on and leaving Lloyd back in port, but we did not want to turn into the winds and slog back.

11 January 2015

Leg One Of The Atlantic. Gibraltar – Canaries

IMG_5780003 Leaving La Linea Weather forecasts had been downloaded and studied a hundred times. Tide charts had been gone over, and now it was time to untie those mooring lines, leave La Linea, and head out into the Strait of Gibraltar. There are still so many places we have not visited which were on the list, but, as Alec says look at what was not on the list, that we have visited.  Sadly because of time we were going to run directly to Las Palma - Gran Canary, and not stop off on the Moroccan coast like we had first planed. Time dictates that we keep moving. But, first we motored into the fuel dock in Gibraltar to fill up our two diesel tanks and 11 Jerry Cans. The water tank is full and the water maker has been checked over. Stores have all been stowed.  Now we are as ready as one can be. Down the rhumb line we have just over 700nm to go.