This would be my first cruise altitude, in the North Atlantic. My experience on sailing on this kind of scale was wingspan until start our trip. I have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar on a couple of occasions moving boats Barcelona to Cadiz (Sapin), and widely sailed the Mediterranean, but never a trip of this caliber. My philosophy was to minimize the possibility of having a bad trip in any of the planned sections, so the good interpretation of weather reports, was for me, a key point. We left in the middle of September to the Canary Islands with plans to stay there a couple of months until the trade winds established. It is in the month of October, when the storms that cross the North Atlantic from west to east, start to reach the coast of the Iberian Peninsula and hinder this stage until the Canaries and for that reason the trip was sooner. The Mediterranean stage, prior to crossing the narrow passage, we do it in two stages, almost all the way with the engine due to lack of wind. From Barcelona to Cartagena, and the second section to the largest port Soto. Without any noticeable impact. Only the pleasant company of a group of pilot whales which accompanied us for a few miles near the Strait.
Just we waited one day and decided to cross the strait to the Canary despite an approaching front that we had to cross, but after this, we had a whole week of placid favorable winds towards our next goal. We were right! Storms left the port side; but what a storm. Seeing Gibraltar astern, we decided to split off the coast of Morocco at least 80 miles to avoid the large number of driftnet and several miles long that Moroccan fishermen use. So we did, we even separated from the coast up to 100 miles, but this did not prevent us to go above one. The design of the outside of the Ju, half long-kill, prevented us to get hooked and surpassed without problem. Already in the Atlantic, we discovered how nice it was to navigate the ocean. Despite the size of the waves, up to 5 meters, the Ju sailed as angels, fast and smooth. The wavelength of the Atlantic waves is very large when compared with the waves of the Mediterranean, so the sailing up and down the waves …… enjoyed this stretch. Sun, fishing, dolphins playing in the bow of Ju … You could not ask for more. Now the real adventure began. We had decided to leave the same day that began the ARC regatta, to see the spectacular exit which takes place every year near the port of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. The truth is that in late November, when the race starts, the trade winds tend to be well established yet, but the decision was already taken. A day before we left Marina Rubicon, beautiful harbor in the south of the island of Lanzarote, to get up the next morning to Las Palmas. We enter the port to turn around and … what a great enviroment! Everyone was already preparing and you could feel the excitement in the air widespread. We left the port, put the gennaker. Exit spectacular! Hundreds of ships sailing to the Caribbean.
Here began the real journey , and once started there was no turning back . Our first intention was to cross directly to the Antilles but a series of events and misfortunes lead us to anchor in Mindelo , the only marina in Cabo Verde.