Oui, oui. Ça glisse bien mon ami.
Spirit of Hungary leaves Madeira astern
Position 32 Degrees 30 North 015 Degrees 39 West
Miles remaining: 783
Cape Verdes Islands? Ancient history! Canary Islands? Far behind! Madeira? In our wake! When tasked with an impossible mission, my mum always used to say “Well how do you eat an elephant?!” to which I would dutifully reply “little piece by little piece”. Little activist that I was, I should have scolded her for promoting illegal ivory trade and talking that way in front of a vegetarian, but you get the point. Our long slog northwards has been cut into little pieces by the island chains we have encountered and now the last one is behind us. Just over 500 miles remain Gibraltar and then onwards to Barcelona.
It's funny how watching the island of Madeira diminish in our wake I was transported back to 2009 when I last watched that view from my Mini at the start of the leg to Brazil. Back then I was setting out on my biggest adventure to date, and now I am returning from my biggest adventure yet, a little grizzled and world weary but still with the same drive and love for life at sea. Leaving Madeira on the Mini I was impressed by the vast expanse of blue that I had to traverse (without maps as it turned out) and I felt pretty small with the Atlantic spread out before me. Now, having accumulated a few more transatlantic races and deliveries, and raced twice around the world, the Atlantic now feels like one of those small pieces of elephant. Weighty but easily manageable.
Now having slipped under the lee of the last island we are now reaching over smooth seas and under sunny skies. The smooth conditions have allowed us to hoist our biggest jib and zip along without putting too much stress on our damaged keel system. With smooth high speeds we are now experiencing offshore nirvana, la glisse! Meaning “the slide” in French, it brings up images of long surfs and the miles slipping off the back of the boat without resistance. Oui, oui. Ca glisse bien mon ami.