November 2000 Amfi, Gran Canaria, Spain
I sailed about 50 miles down to Amfi and my new Windpilot did the steering the
whole distance. It is about as easy as it gets. No hassle whatsoever.
12 November 2000 Arguineguin, Gran Canaria, Spain
In Arguineguín, I once again met up with Jens. We spent a few glorious days,
also in the company of an Englishman. We had rissoles at a Danish restaurant and
actually acted like "tourists" for a couple of days, going to nightclubs and
pubs, lying on the beach, etc. But afterwards, we both had had enough. All
tourists to Gran Canaria are down here on the southern part of the island
because of the much better climate. Here everything revolves around tourism.
Guess my lunch has gone up in smoke
Jens and I were in the water. Together we cleaned the hulls of
On November 16, 2000 I was on my way to Cap Verde - a trip of 850
nautical miles that should be around seven days, given I could get a reasonable
wind. I got more than what I asked for. It would turn out to be my most
uncomfortable cruise so far. I had constant winds of Beaufort Force 6-7. An
extraordinarily unsteady sea tossed little Trojka around the whole time.
I just love my new Windpilot. I let it steer from just outside the port at Gran
Canaria and turned it off six days later when calling at São Vicente. It was
steering the whole time. Completely hassle-free and without interruption. I only
touched it on two occasions because the wind had changed a bit, and I'm more
than happy with it. With the Ullermatic, I think I most likely would have sailed
to the coast of Africa and taken the train home. I simply wouldn't have had the
energy to struggle with the steering.
During the six days, I had rice on two occasions. The rest of the time I lived
off of biscuits and bread. I was hopping and bobbing so hard, it was impossible
and dangerous to boil water. It was something of an achievement (just) to make a
sandwich. You have to hold on to EVERYTHING. Still, something fell to the floor.
Half a sandwich with liver sausage was stuck on the wall somewhere and I
couldn't find it!!!
On my birthday, November 19, I received an unexpected birthday present. The
whole day red sand poured down, when I passed by the (coast of the) Sahara.
I heard of many (people with) broken booms, torn mainsails and broken backstays,
while listening to Gary's SSB channel. Louis lost his genoa when his tracing
line snapped, his generator broke down and his motor suspension broke.
I don't own a SSB radio. Just a small Sony world receiver, so I'm only able to
listen in. Many check in. By giving their positions, they receive weather
reports and good advice in return. Maybe they have to change course to find
better wind or to avoid inclement weather. I use it a lot, and during my next
crossing I will be listening in on(/to) Herb's channel, which covers this
specific part of the Atlantic. There are lots of similar channels available, and
they are run completely unpaid by radio amateurs. Or (like) in Gary's case,
During the journey, I experienced a minor leak. This resulted in nearly a litre
of water the first night. Maybe that does not sound like much. But when it ends
up right in your bed, believe me, it is enough. For the rest of the journey I
had to sleep on the floor with cushions and a blanket, due to a soaking wet
mattress, sleeping quilt, etc. And the water just kept coming. Big waves
travelled all across the deck. A problem I will have to look into when I reach
to leave the mattress out to dry, but had big waves astern
This photo is taken a few seconds before I ran inside
and was hit by a giant wave.