Dec 02, 2018 - Day 107 - 33º54'N 007º46'W to 33º29'N 009º20'W

Summary
An uneventful day at sea with good winds and only moderate swell. We saw an open fishing boat with four men in it far out in the ocean with just an outboarder. The guys had no life-wests or other means of safety. I was shocked how those guys risk their lives every day to make a living.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Casablanca (ref. Spanish forecast area)

Weather
Clear skies to 2/8 all day. Winds N 3 Bft in the early morning, then shifting NE temporarily increasing 4 Bft, then between 2 and 4 Bft all day. Seas 1-2 m. Pressure 1024, temporarily dropping to 1022 then increasing again to 1024 HPa. Min. temp.: 17ºC, max. temp.: 21ºC.

Nautical Log
main sail, genoa and mizzen set
06:10 - HDG 255, genoa lowered
06:15 - autopilot set to wind angle 150º Stbd
07:50 - autopilot set to wind angle 135º Stbd
08:00 - genoa set
10:50 - autopilot set to wind angle 180º
11:10 - pusher sail set, autopilot set to wind angle 120º Stbd
13:00 - pusher sail lowered, autopilot set to wind angle 180º, HDG 245
14:30 - HDG 215
14:50 - motor on (battery charging)
15:00 - genoa reefed away
15:30 - HDG 230
18:00 - HDG 250
20:00 - motor off
20:15 - genoa set

Incidents
none

Sightings
11:35 - open fisher boat with outboarder at least 30 nm from shore, 4 men in it, they seem to be ok, position 33º51,8ºN 008º36,6’W

Maintenance Log
none

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 89,9 nm
Total: 2.361,5 nm

Dec 01, 2018 - Day 106 - Rabat to 33º54'N 007º46'W

Summary
At sea again. Finally. As much as I love to explore new lands, I am still a sailor and I love to be at sea. We got stuck a few days because the ocean swell was too high for the marina to open. At the day of departure we moved to boat to the customs pontoon, cleared out and followed the pilot through Bouregreg river to the open sea. We chose a Western course at first to stay clear of the plenty of unmarked fishing nets and unlit fishing boats closer to shore.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Bouregreg River, Casablanca (ref. Spanish forecast areas)

Weather
After a week of almost constant rain the skies are clear with 2/8 of scattered clouds at times. The winds are from N with 2 Bft at times, slightly shifting to NE increasing 3-4 Bft. At first 2 m swells, later decreasing to 1 m. Pressure 1025, temporarily dropping to 1022, then increasing to 1024 HPa. Min. temp.: 14ºC, max. temp.: 22ºC.

Nautical Log
09:00 - motor on
09:10 - departure from berth
09:20 - arrival at customs pontoon, motor off
11:00 - motor on, departure from customs pontoon, following pilot through Bouregreg River
11:30 - motor off, main sail and genoa set, HDG 280
12:30 - HDG 270
13:30 - mizzen set
14:00 - pusher sail set
16:30 - HDG 240
17:10 - HDG 250
18:10 - HDG 255
20:45 - HDG 300
22:30 - pusher lowered, autopilot set to wind angle 120º Stbd

Incidents
none

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
17:00 - genoa sail to furling drum connection fixed
mechanical log not functional (speed shows 0 kts)

Other
10:00 - boarded by immigration and police officers

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 51,6 nm
Total: 2.271,6 nm

Nov 16-Nov 30, 2018 - Day 91-105 - Rabat

morocco

CLICK HERE FOR MICHELLE’S PERSPECTIVE

Summary
As you can see we stayed in Rabat for two weeks. It was one of Michelle’s bucket list items to see Casablanca which also is her favorite movie. For me it was the third time to come to Morocco. First time was back in my navy days when we visited Casablanca with our proud destroyer, FGS Rommel. I remember we specifically got a culture briefing before we were allowed to go to land. And I also remember that I took two days off, took the train to Rabat and Marakech and was so fascinated by this exotic country that I already didn’t make it to our departure roll call. That was more than 20 years ago and not much has changed till now. Morocco is still an exotic and wonderful country between Africa and Europe, Occident and Orient.

It is a pity that so many sailors sail past Morocco for very different reasons. I guess, Morocco still needs to work on its reputation and we are willing to help :-)

The best way to find out more about our stay in Morocco is to watch our videos on our YouTube channel. We also published an ‘approach video’ in our series “Maik’s Nav Corner” that gives some guidance in how to approach Marina Bouregreg on a sailboat.

Why would anyone sail to Morocco PART 1: https://youtu.be/kiJcF8HSlBs

Why would anyone sail to Morocco PART 2: https://youtu.be/ouvVZTvOCQw

How to approach Rabat, Morocco: https://youtu.be/RZ99Q83wyf4

Nov 15, 2018 - Day 90 - 34º30'N 007º30'W to Rabat

Summary
Today we fight head wind and decreasing wind speeds to just 1 Bft. We arrive on time at the estuary of Bouregreg River and call Marina Bouregreg on radio. As the sand bar in front of the river is changing its shape and position constantly and the approach of the river is challenging, they send out a pilot in an RIB to guide us into the river. They guide us to the customs pontoon where immigration, customs and police officers are waiting for us. After clearing in we are guided to our berth in the marina.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Casablanca (ref. Spanish forecast areas), Bouregreg River

Weather
2/8 in the early morning, clearing up over the later morning. Then clear for the rest of the day. Winds from S with 3 Bft shortly after midnight then decreasing to 1 Bft at around 06:00. Seas 1 m, breaking seas 2 m at the river estuary. Pressure 1012 slightly increasing to 1013 HPa. Min. temp.: 17ºC, max. temp.: no data

Nautical Log
genoa set, motor on
03:00 - radio contact with trawler, take measures to avoid trawler
04:00 - HDG 130
07:30 - HDG 135
09:30 - radio contact with Marina Bouregreg, request pilot
10:00 - pilot arrives, follow pilot into river Bouregreg
10:30 - arrival at customs pier, motor off
11:45 - motor on, departure from customs pier
12:00 - arrival at berth Bouregreg Marina, motor off

Incidents
03:00 - radio contact with trawler, take measures to avoid collision

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
none

Other
10:45 - boarded by immigration, customs and police officers, drones collected for safe-keeping

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 47,9 nm
Total: 2.220,0 nm

Nov 14, 2018 - Day 89 - 36º00'N 008º53'W to 34º30'N 007º30'W

Summary
After a little rough night with wind speeds up to 6 Bft when we made good time the day is characterised by lighter winds and a wind shift to the South. In order to make it to the scheduled arrival window we use our engine. Marina Bouregreg in Rabat is located inside Bouregreg river at which estuary a sand bar lets the ocean swell break which makes the approach possibly dangerous. So this marina can only be approached during rising tide around high water with swells smaller than 2 m.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, S. Vicente, Casablanca (ref. Spanish forecast areas)

Weather
2/4 to 4/4 scattered Cumulus all day. Winds from NE with 5-6 Bft in the night and early morning, shifting to S and decreasing to 1-2 in the evening. Seas 3 m at first, then decreasing to 1-2 m. Pressure 1017 dropping to 1013 HPa over the day. Min. temp.: 18ºC, max. temp.: 22ºC.

Nautical Log
Main sail, genoa and mizzen set
00:05 - autopilot set to wind from 90º port
02:15 - genoa reefed away
03:00 - motor on (battery charging)
06:30 - HDG 160
08:50 - motor off, genoa and jib set, autopilot set to wind from 90º port
10:00 - autopilot set to wind from 80º port
11:00 - motor on
13:00 - HDG 140
15:30 - HDG 130
20:50 - main sail and jib lowered

Incidents
none

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
none

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 116,8 nm
Total: 2.172,1 nm

Nov 13, 2018 - Day 88 - 37º40'N 009º51'W to 36º00'N 008º53'W

Summary
We continue our downwind passage around Cape S. Vicente and chart a direct course towards Rabat, Morocco. With good winds we are making good time, but the swells are high and are hitting us from an uncomfortable angle.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, S. Vicente (ref. Spanish forecast area)

Weather
Clear skies to 2/8 all day. Winds N 4 Bft, shifting slightly to NNE in the evening, increasing to 4-5 in the night. Seas 2-3 m all day. Pressure 1021, increasing to 1022 then dropping to 1018 at midnight. Min. temp.: 14ºC, max. temp.: 18ºC.

Nautical Log
main sail and genoa set
00:30 - genoa reefed away
01:00 - HDG 180
01:40 - HDG 190
08:35 - mizzen set
13:00 - HDG 145, genoa set
15:30 - motor on (battery charging)
18:00 - motor off
20:15 - HDG 130

Incidents
none

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
none

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 128,4 nm
Total: 2.055,3 nm

Nov 12, 2018 - Day 87 - Lisbon to 37º40'N 009º51'W

Summary
After a foggy departure we take on fuel and head out of Rio Tejo into the open ocean. At the estuary of Rio Tejo we sight the US aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman. With a good downwind course we head towards Cape S. Vicente.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Rio Tejo, Trafalgar, S. Vicente

Weather
Fog at first, clearing around noon to clear skies. Winds N to NNE 1-2 Bft in the morning, temporarily shifting S, then shifting back to N over E, increasing 4-5 Bft. Seas 0 m in Rio Tejo, increasing 3 m in the ocean. Pressure 1015 increasing 1018 HPa. Min. temp.: 11ºC, max. temp.: 16ºC.

Nautical Log
08:10 - motor on
08:20 - departure, pilotage to Doca de Belem
09:55 - arrival at Doca de Belem (gas station), motor off
10:25 - motor on, departure, pilotage on Rio Tejo to open ocean
11:30 - HDG 205, motor off, main sail and genoa set

Incidents
none

Sightings
10:45 - USS Harry Truman

Maintenance Log
10:15-10:25 taking on fuel

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 75,9 nm
Total: 1.926,9 nm

Oct 20, 2018 - Day 63 - 38º56'N 009º32'W to Lisbon

Summary
We continue to move South on a downwind course, round Cabo Raso in the early morning. We are too early to enter Rio Tejo at daylight and with rising tide, so we anchor near Cascais before continuing the approach into Rio Tejo.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Trafalgar, Rio Tejo

Weather
4/8 to 6/8 overcast in the early morning, clearing up to 2/8 around noon. Winds NW to NE 3-4 Bft. Seas 1 m in the ocean, 0 in Rio Tejo. Pressure 1013 increasing 1015 HPa. Min. temp.: 18ºC, max. temp.: 23ºC.

Nautical Log
main sail, mizzen, jib and genoa set
01:00 - HDG 180, motor on, all sails lowered
05:20 - HDG 050, approach anchorage
07:30 - motor off, anchor dropped at 38º41,715’N 009º23,166’W
08:50 - motor on, anchor off, pilotage into Rio Tejo
12:10 - arrived at marina Parque das Nacoes, Lisbon, motor off

Incidents
none

Lisbon, Portugal

CLICK HERE TO READ MICHELLE’S BLOG

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
none

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 43,3 nm
Total: 1.851,0 nm

Oct 19, 2018 - Day 62 - 40º33'N 008º57'W to 38º56'N 009º32'Ws

Summary
An uneventful day at sea at fairly high swell.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Trafalgar

Weather
Clear skies at first, then increasing cloudiness to 6/8 in late night. Winds between NNW and NNE 3-4 Bft in the early morning, then constantly N 3-4 Bft, decreasing to 2 Bft in late night. Seas 3-4 m at first, decreasing to 1-2 m in the late night. Pressure 1011, dropping to 1010 then increasing to 1013 HPa. Min. temp.: 17ºC, max. temp.: 20ºC.

Nautical Log
main sail, jib, genoa, mizzen set
09:45 - mizzen lowered, wing-to-wing
14:45 - HDG 170
15:45 - HDG 180
16:05 - HDG 160
17:30 - HDG 200, mizzen set
21:15 - motor on (battery charging)
21:30 - genoa lowered

Incidents
- pusher sail halyard slipped through top block
- genoa furl malfunction

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
- mizzen sheet fixed

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 107,0 nm
Total: 1.807,7 nm

Oct 18, 2018 - Day 61 - Porto to 40º33'N 008º57'W

Summary
As the winds are forecasted to shift from North to South we decide to leave Porto after just one night and head off to Lisbon. However the cross winds at departure time are so high we need tug assistance to get off our berth.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Trafalgar

Weather
6/8 overcast in the morning, clearing up in the course of the day. Winds N 2-3 Bft at first, shifting to NW, increasing 4-5 Bft in the afternoon. Seas 3 m. Pressure 1011, dropping to 1010 in the afternoon, increasing to 1013 HPa in the late evening. Min. temp.: 13ºC, max. temp.: 23ºC.

Nautical Log
15:00 - motor on
15:30 - departure with tug assistance
15:45 - HDG 205, jib and main sail set, motor off
17:50 - mizzen set
21:00 - HDG 200

Incidents
none

Sightings
several dolphin sightings over the day

Maintenance Log
none

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 40,5 nm
Total: 1.700,7 nm

Oct 17, 2018 - Day 60 - 41º30'N 008º50'W to Porto

Summary
After a night of light winds we approach marina Leixoes in the early morning. As it is full and also does not look very inviting we move on to marina Rio Douro in Porto. This involves a challenging approach into Douro River but clearly is a good choice.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Trafalgar

Weather
6/8 overcast in the night, hazy in the morning, rain in the afternoon. Winds W 1 Bft in the early morning, then shifting SE temporarily increasing 2-3 Bft. In the afternoon shifting N, increasing to 5 Bft, gusts 6 Bft. After the rain in the early evening decreasing 2 Bft. Seas 1-1,5 m. Pressure 1016 increasing to 1018 in the morning, then dropping to 1013 HPa. Min. temp.: 16ºC, max. temp.: 20ºC.

Nautical Log
Main sail, jib, mizzen set
04:00 - HDG 150
07:30 - main sail, jib, mizzen lowered
07:40 - approach into Leixoes
08:30 - transit to Porto
09:30 - approach into Rio Douro
10:00 - arrival at marina Rio Douro, Porto

Incidents
none

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
none

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 35,6 nm
Total: 1.660,2 nm

Oct 16, 2018 - Day 59 - Vigo to 41º30'N 008º50'W

Summary
The two day passage to Porto starts with light winds from the North to North West so we need to ‘hoist the diesel engine’ quite some time to make time.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Trafalgar

Weather
Overcast at first, then clearing up to clear skies over the day. Winds from W 2 Bft, later shifting to NW, temporarily increasing 3-4 Bft, later decreasing to 1 Bft. Seas calm at first, increasing to 3 m (swell) in the afternoon. Pressure constantly at 1016. Min. temp.: 14ºC, max. temp.: 21ºC.

Nautical Log
12:45 - motor on
13:00 - departure, pilotage out of Vigo
13:15 - HDG 250
13:35 - HDG 230
13:45 - HDG 275
14:15 - drop anchor, motor off
15:30 - anchor off, main sail, jib, mizzen set
16:10 - HDG 160, motor on
16:15 - HDG 170
16:20 - HDG 190

Incidents
none

Sightings
21:00 - bioluminescent dolphins, unknown number

Maintenance Log
none

Other
Short stop at Praia das Rodas, launched drone

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 50,0 nm
Total: 1.624,6 nm

Oct 07-Oct 15, 2018 - Day 50-58 - Vigo

Vigo, Spain

CLICK HERE TO READ MICHELLE’S BLOG

Summary
We stayed in Vigo for a little over a week. Marina Davila Sport is a great marina, however it is pretty far from the city center. The weather was good at first, but later Vigo was in the possible path of hurricane Leslie. Luckily for us Leslie’s course shifted to the South and made landfall in the area of Lisbon, Portugal. Leslie was the worst storm to hit the Iberian Peninsula in many years and it brought significant winds and lots of rain to Vigo. After hurricane Leslie moved on to the European mainland and decreased to a ‘normal’ storm we could move on to Porto, Portugal.

Oct 06, 2018 - Day 49 - 42º45'N 008º58'W - Vigo

Summary
After a disrupted night (wind shift) at anchorage we sail to Vigo, making use of the increased Northerly winds.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Finisterre

Weather
Overcast skies with a short shower till noon, clearing up in the afternoon. Winds 3 Bft from N in the morning, temporarily shifting to SE and back to Northerly winds in the afternoon, increasing to 5 Bft. Seas 0.5-1.0 m. Pressure 1016 increasing to 1019 HPa. Min. temp.: 12ºC, max. temp.: 20ºC.

Vigo, Spain

CLICK HERE TO READ MICHELLE’S BLOG

Nautical Log
07:00 - dinghy on board
07:30 - motor on
07:45 - anchor off, pilotage from anchorage
08:10 - HDG 250
08:30 - HDG 220
09:05 - HDG 210
10:00 - HDG 200
10:30 - main sail set
11:00 - HDG 160, genoa set
11:45 - HDG 170, motor off, wing-on-wing
13:00 - main sail lowered
13:30 - HDG 135
13:45 - main sail set
15:10 - HDG 150
15:55 - HDG 100
16:45 - pilotage into Vigo
17:00 - motor on, main and genoa lowered
18:00 - arrival at Vigo Marina Davila Sport, motor off

Incidents
05:00 - anchor alarm: anchor dragging

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
none

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 47.3 nm
Total: 1574.6 nm

Oct 05, 2018 - Day 48 - 42º56'N 009º11'W - 42º45'N 008º58'W

Summary
Today we have a late start as we use the available internet and cell service to connect with home and business partners. After that we motor to our next anchorage as the winds are still very light.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Finisterre

Weather
Cloudy and hazy in the morning but clearing up around noon to 1/4 scattered clouds in the afternoon. Variable winds around 1 Bft in the morning, later Southerly winds from 1 to 3 Bft. Seas 0-0.5 m. Pressure between 1014 and 1016 HPa. Min. temp.: 14ºC, max. temp.: 24ºC.

Nautical Log
13:50 - motor on, anchor off, pilotage out of anchorage
14:00 - HDG 180
14:45 - HDG 175
15:00 - HDG 190
15:10 - HDG 210
15:40 - HDG 205
16:00 - HDG 145
16:35 - HDG 120
17:50 - Approach anchorage
18:30 - anchor dropped at 42º44,525’N 008º58,196’W, motor off
19:15 - take dinghy to beach
20:15 - return to ship with dinghy

Incidents
none

Sightings
16:05 - unspecified dolphins, 5 individuals at 42º47’N 009º11’W

Maintenance Log
none

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 21.5 nm
Total: 1527.3 nm

Oct 04, 2018 - Day 47 - 43º16'N 008º58'W - 42º56'N 009º11'W

Summary
Another day of light wind coastal sailing with anchorage in a scenic Ria.

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Finisterre

Weather
Clear skies all day long. Light winds, variable at first then N, slowly shifting to NW. 1 Bft in the morning, increasing to 3 till noon, then decreasing to 0-1 in the afternoon. Seas 0.5-1.0 m. Pressure 1019 decreasing 1016 in the evening. Min. temp.: 15ºC, max. temp.: 25ºC.

Nautical Log
11:20 - motor on
11:30 - anchor off
12:15 - HDG 260, main, jib and mizzen up
14:30 - HDG 215
15:10 - HDG 220, jib and main down
16:55 - HDG 180
18:35 - HDG 190
18:40 - main down
18:45 - HDG 160
19:00 - HDG 120, approaching Ria de Corcubon
20:50 - dropped anchor at 42º56.330’N 009º11.279’W, motor off

Incidents
none

Sightings
Rounded Cape Finisterre.

Maintenance Log
none

Other
none

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 43.1 nm
Total: 1505.8 nm

Oct 03, 2018 - Day 46 - La Coruña - 43º16'N 008º58'W

Summary
With winds a little too low to be optimum we took a late morning departure and left Ria de Coruña to the NW. With all sails up (including the diesel sail for some time) we decided the low wind weather situation would be a perfect day to anchor. So we headed to Corme and dropped the anchor at a picturesque beach Praia de Osmo.

PRAIA de Osmo

CLICK HERE TO READ MICHELLE’S BLOG

Sea Area
Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Biscay, Finisterre

Weather
Clear skies all day, low visibility at first, then good visibility after noon. Winds variable 1-2 in the morning, then temporarily increasing NE 3, then decreasing to variable 0-1 in the afternoon. Seas 0-0.5 m at first, then increasing to 2 m (old swell), decreasing to 0 m once inside the bay. Pressure 1023 slightly decreasing to 1020 in the evening. Min. temp.: 15ºC, max. temp.: 22ºC.

Nautical Log
10:50 - motor on
11:10 - departure
11:20 - main, jib, genoa and mizzen up, motor off
12:00 - pusher up, HDG 270
16:00 - pusher, genoa and mizzen down, motor on
17:10 - HDG 240, main down
18:05 - HDG 220
19:00 - approach anchorage
19:45 - anchor dropped at 43º15.831’N 008º57.506’W, motor off

Incidents
none

Sightings
none

Maintenance Log
none

Other
Met with S/V Goodbye (France) in La Coruña.

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 37.9 nm
Total: 1462.7 nm

Sep 28-Oct 02, 2018 - Days 41-45 - La Coruña

Summary
In La Coruña we had great, sunny weather, enjoying the last days of summer. We also had some days of severe fog that is typical for this season. When the fog cleared it was very comfortable with temperatures between 15ºC and 24ºC.

Marina Coruña is a great place to start or end the Bay of Biscay crossing. The marina provides good shelter from all directions and the facilities are good. Supermarkets are a bit of a walk, but the city center is in walking distance and so is the Tower of Hercules and plenty small and cosy beaches.

Sep 27, 2018 - Day 40 - 44º34'N 008º01'W to A Coruña

Summary
On the last stretch to A Coruña, the wind died and we got stuck in sudden and extremely dense fog. Luckily it cleared just enough to enter the harbor when we approached the Spanish shore.

Sea Area
Bay of Biscay

Weather
Clear skies in the morning, then sudden fog with visibility < 50 m until afternoon. Then slightly clearing up to visibility ~3 cable. Winds E 2-3 in the early morning, then shifting S, later SW, decreasing to 0-1. Seas 1-2 m at first, then decreasing to 0.5 m. Pressure 1023 slightly increasing to 1025 in the afternoon. Min. temp.: 18ºC, max. temp.: 22ºC.

Nautical Log
00:00 - jib, main and mizzen still up, HDG 220
01:30 - motor on
04:00 - take down main
06:30 - HDG 200
10:30 - all sails down
12:55 - HDG 180
15:00 - sail past Tower of Hercules to meet with Helmut
16:00 - pilotage into A Coruña, Marina Coruña
16:30 - arrived in A Coruña

Incidents
none

Sightings
08:20 - land
10:00 - dolphins

Maintenance Log
no entry

Other
Started new log book.

Mileage (over ground)
Today: 77.0 nm
Total: 1424.8 nm