Well, yesterday we set off. Hoping to make it to Carbo Verde and knowing we would have to motor a day or two and refill with fuel at Carbo Verde, but mostly, our obstacle was to get across a lull that was showing in the forecast.
The forecast showed a low passing north of Gran Canaria that would bring strong headwinds, but we could get out of here and ahead of it with 10-14kt head winds gusting up to 20kts.
These would be South, SouthWest so against the prevailing swell from the north and be uncomfortable with short sharp seas … but nothing we couldn’t handle.
What we actually got was a base wind of 20kts with gusts much higher and directly on the nose. We couldn’t make enough progress to avoid the coming stronger winds, which we suspect has been passing through sooner than predicted, or magnified by the island. The little red arm you see moving down and to left from the islands by the little boat is that wind we were wanting to avoid.
So after some agonising between the crew the captain made the decision to return to Las Palmas and wait for a better period of weather.
It’s being rather difficult at the moment with a number of lows coming through and pushing down the lull line, causing very disturbed seas and making conditions ripe for squalls to form right across the Atlantic.
So, we came back and spent an afternoon on sail practice whilst we head, now, downwind back to Las Palmas.
Comfort, like good sheep, was taken from a number of boats around us who had taken the same window to leave, doing the same thing and heading straight back.
So here we are, waiting in a calm harbour for the forecast to turn. Waiting for the lows to pass (one started as a tropical depression, very late in the season). And hoping for some trade winds to arrive again, blowing in our direction.