We planned to sail from La Gomera to the Cape Verdian islands which was 801 nautical miles (about 1,440 kms). Strange idea that we were leaving Europe and were now heading to Africa. We expected the trip to take about 8 days so we made sure we had enough fresh food, water and fuel.
Normally, the direction of the wind on this route is constantly coming from the north (trade winds) but because of a low pressure area in Portugal, the wind came from the south. Since we were heading to the south this meant that we were going against the wind (You can sail all directions of the wind but not against it) So, we had to zigzag to our destination 😬. This was quite frustrating because normally we sail an average of 100 miles a day but this time it took us three days. Fortunately, on the fourth day the wind changed direction and so the rest of the trip went smoothly.
We again saw a group of about twenty dolphins that swam alongside and in front of the boat. These were different from the ones we’ve seen before because they were really big about 5 meters long and they had a flat nose. Erwin first thought they were small whales but when we googled it, they turned out to be the long finned pilot whales which are actually the largest dolphins.
We also saw flying fish. Sometimes we would just see one but other times we would see about 20-30 of them fly about a hundred meters.
Since we left Portugal, Erwin has been trying to catch a fish. He tried different kinds of artificial baits like silicone squids, a neon sardine and something high tech that looked more like a flashlight than a fish that flashed and made a sound but he didn’t have much luck. Is he doing something wrong or has the Atlantic sea in Portugal and the Canary Islands been commercially fished too often that the sea is almost empty. We saw so many fishing buoys you literally had to zigzag your way through it. We think it’s the second reason because when we were on our way to Cape Verde, we finally had bait! Erwin first thought that a piece of plastic got caught on the hook but when he reeled the line in, there was a nice skipjack tuna at the end. Okay, it was a small sized tuna but it was a good start and it was big enough for two portions of tuna sashimi 😋.
The next day, he caught two fish, a golden dorado. One thing we noticed is that the speed of the boat is an important factor. The speed should be fast at least 5 knots otherwise the fish won’t bite. We said that if the speed is too slow the fish probably has time to see that it’s an artificial bait 😜.