Experience the Trade Winds

When sailing across oceans we all look for trade wind routes. Winds that blow steadily from the same direction so that you can sail twenty four hours a day at close to the maximum boat speed.

On our passage from the Cape Verde Islands to Barbados, the trade winds set up about the third day out. While there was a lot of variability, no two days were ever the same, we did have winds blowing Van Kedisi at over six knots. With the trade winds set up, ocean swells grow in size. Van Kedisi would do over fourteen knots surfing down big swells.

In this video, we have captured the experience of being in the trade winds and the big swells. This video includes footage of each of the four crew members on the Atlantic crossing: Dick Leighton, Rick Lane, Andy Leighton, and myself at the helm dealing with the boat motion. Enjoy.

David

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Four Guys Cross the Atlantic

Andy, Rick, and Dick

Andy, Rick, and Dick

If you are in Vancouver join us for a presentation by David Greer on our Atlantic Adventure. Here are the details:

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Location: Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
Address: 3811 Point Grey Road, Vancouver, BC
Doors: 7:00 PM
Presentation: 7:30 PM
Information: david@davidgreer.ca

In 2013, four guys sailed Dick and Marian Leighton’s Prout 39 catamaran Van Kedisi more than 2,800 NM across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Barbados. Crossing oceans with your spouse is one thing, but what about when the spouses can’t or don’t want to cross an ocean? This presentation covers the ups and downs of how Dick, his 21-year old son Andy, and friends Rick Lane and David Greer coped with living together, sailing, and dealing with boat issues as we sailed across the Atlantic, including an emergency stop in the Cape Verde Islands.

David Greer

David Greer

David Greer started sailing before he was a teenager taking CYA lessons at Pigeon Lake in Alberta while racing fireball sailboats with his Dad. With his wife Karalee Greer, they have owned four boats traveling up and down BC’s coast. In 2001, they commissioned a sailboat in the south of France and for two years home schooled their three children while sailing more than 5,000 NM in the Mediterranean. David writes and presents extensively on sailing, passage making, and family living on a sailboat.

David

Quiet Mid-Atlantic Photos

Relaxing in the Cockpit

Relaxing in the Cockpit

The first few days out from Cape Verde on our way to Barbados saw light winds. From spinnaker sailing to swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, we took time to enjoy the weather that we had. A new set of photos have been uploaded to our Flickr account highlighting the first six days of our passage to Barbados. Click the link below to check them out.

Sail Van Kedisi Photos

David

First Videos of Quiet Atlantic Sailing

Every wondered what it is like on the open Atlantic ocean? In this post we share our first two sailing videos. Both were taken on relatively quiet Atlantic days. Even then, you get a good idea of the motion of Van Kedisi as the sails pull her along.

The first video was shot between the Canary Islands and Cape Verde:

This second video showcases Van Kedisi’s spinnaker showing how well it flies off the bow. Midway through this video you can catch a glimpse of Rick Lane at the helm.

David

Spot Us on the Atlantic

During the Atlantic crossing, David kept everyone informed of our progress using a SPOT device. This device communicates the current position of the device (and thus Van Kedisi) via satellites. Each position report is recorded on a public web site. Position reports are only kept for seven days on the SPOT web site so there is now no record of the position reports. In order to have this permanent record, David’s friend Wendy Riches captured these screen shots showing our progress from the Canary Islands to Cape Verde and from there to Barbados.

Canary Islands to Cape Verde

Canary Islands to Cape Verde

First Half Cape Verde to Barbados

First Half Cape Verde to Barbados

Second Half Cape Verde to Barbados

Second Half Cape Verde to Barbados

David

Day #27: Fourteen Days from the Cape Verdes

13° 32.4 N 57° 04.5 W at Noon Local

Bodrum, Turkey to Bridgetown, Barbados

Noon to noon distance 147 NM

Noon distance to Barbados 153 NM

Two weeks ago this morning we left Mindolo, Cape Verde. Looking around the boat today, all we see is the swells of the Atlantic Ocean, white caps, and puffy white cumulus clouds. The same view, more or less, that we’ve had since we reached the trade winds.

In the last twenty-four hours we se tied our best ever noon-to-noon distance of 147 nautical miles. Without our GPS and charts, we could be almost anywhere between Cape Verde and Barbados. The reality is that if the wind continues, we have fabulous sailing conditions, and we should be in Bridgetown, Barbados before dark tomorrow, Saturday, December 20, 2013.

Dick, Andy, Rick, and David have each settled into the rhythm of the boat and watches. Tasks have become automatic. Another midnight squall coming through? Ease the genoa sheet, pull in the furling line, use the flashlight to make sure the furling line is clear, and adjust the sheet to take the belly out of the genoa. We don’t have to think about it, we just do it.

We’ve been in our own little world. There’s no MTV, unless it is listening to Mark Knoppler and Dire Straights singing on the stereo. We are in tune with the rhythm of the day, the ocean, the boat, and each other. We all expect it will be a big change to back in civilization. While we are all ready for ice cream and a bunk that isn’t tossing you from side to side, there is an inherent beauty to ocean passage making that we have each got to experience. Along with the trust, friendship, and shared experience that the four of us have had in the twenty-seven days since we left the Canary Islands.

David