Alex & Mia came on deck to lead the crew in hoisting the big pink kite. Everything takes 10x longer with new crew on the first try, but out here we have nothing but time, so it took the time it needed to take to get everything set right. With Mia on the helm, we pulled the downline on the sock and the 3,000-sq.ft. S2 opened up in the breeze and FALKEN surged ahead.
We spent the day sailing under the chute, dousing it before dinnertime and getting all the lines and gear stowed for the night. It’s November, and while it’s nice and warm here off southern Portugal, the nights are long. It gets dark around 1730, and doesn’t get light again until around 0700, so the night watches are long. But the stargazing more than makes up for it. We passed around the binoculars last night, taking turns looking at Orion’s belt and the millions of stars in the background that you’d never seen ashore.
At sunrise today we sheeted in the sails and tacked. Now we’re close-hauled, aiming ENE and starting the long upwind slog back towards Lagos. We’re taking bets on how many miles we’ll actually sail, since we have to tack upwind. It’s about 100 miles in a straight line, but we’ll do many more than that against the wind. It’s a light wind though, and very pleasant out here!