Today marked the day we made our turn away from Europe and towards the Canaries. It was quite an exciting moment for us on board, especially after we spent the wee hours of the morning dodging lots of commercial traffic to get from the east side of the commercial shipping lanes along the coast of Portugal over to the west side so that we’d have a clear shot to make our way further southwest. For someone used to crossing the Houston Ship Channel in a couple of minutes, this was a new experience since the shipping lanes are 20nm wide with 4 lanes.
All I’ll say is thank goodness for AIS since it made life so easy. We could tell exactly which ships were approaching us, even if we couldn’t see them yet, as well as how close our paths would cross. It kept me from freaking out when 3 ships appeared on the horizon, all appearing as if they were approaching us head on. It was quite easy to chart a path through all of them, keeping each one several nautical miles away. And our AIS is definitely working better now that we have the external GPS antenna, so that was an excellent upgrade.
I wish I could say the same about our Sat Phone at the moment. In spite of all my extensive testing and the antenna upgrade in Spain, we’ve been having lots of problems getting it to reliably check for and send emails. Not sure if it’s a problem with computers on either end or with our connection, but either way it’s quite annoying.
On the good side of the news today, we saw our first whale! We named him Not Moby, in honor of a How I Met Your Mother episode, and I actually managed to get a picture of him as he came up out of the water to breath. I’ll be sure to post it once we have a good internet connection again.
As for the boat, SH is doing awesome. The winds have died down so we’re motoring a bit to keep our speed up. So far we’re on target with a Friday mid-afternoon arrival into Las Palmas and we’d sure like to keep that date. Time for me to head to bed and Admiral Amy is up with the first night watch!