Song of the Whale - Queen’s Ransom’s Transatlantic crossing in support of whales
Queen’s Ransom III is a Najad 520 from Gosport, UK, crossing the Atlantic in 2009
arrival: port: departure:
 Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Islas Canarias, Espagna 29/11/2009
05/12/2009 Mindelo, São Vicente, Arquipélago de Cabo Verde 06/12/2009
20/12/2009 Bridgetown, Barbados 21/12/2009
22/12/2009 St. George's, Grenada 
crew: Ulric Almqvist (S), Peter Hjelt (GB), Hans Piest (NL) 
these webpages are modified versions of the corresponding pages of Queen's Ransom III's original BLOG
found at:
Not enough champagne?
Ulric E5
12/12/2009, 900 nautical miles to land anywhere

Sailing into the sunset in the West Atlantic with the genoa poled out (Ulric)


It is very hot; 29 degrees both inside and outside the cabin; not to talk about how it feels in the straight sunshine on deck. It is the first time I long for the evening, when it gets a bit cooler. This morning I was dangling my feet over the rail and from time to time had them dipped into the waves; hoping that there would be no hungry shark looking for her breakfast. It is Friday and we are five days out of the Cape Verde islands. We have seven or eight days to go to Barbados. I just met Benny the grass hopper doing a walk on deck, while I checked a few things.

I am astonished that we don't encounter any squalls. Every book and sailing account talks about the tropical line squalls. Hans and I looked them up in the books and peered at the photos. The trades are blowing 18-22 knots straight from the East. This is not a great wind angle for us wanting to go 265° to Barbados, but the miles are ticking away. Our daily distances have been 178.5, 166.6, 169.4 and 185.8 nautical miles since Monday noon.

At the navigation table I am having one of the vitamin C tablets that my mother sent with me for the whole crew. The view from the table is quite different, with deep blue Atlantic rollers - with small cute white caps on them, from the views at my desks at the office in the City or at my study at home in London. I wonder how it will feel to be home again. Quite possible a more difficult transition than setting out.

Our daily bomb of vitamin C to avoid terrible diseases such as scorbutus (Hans)


We had one of Sarah (Peter's wife) recipes last night; an excellent cous-cous with chicken broth, sundried tomato, dried apricot and feta for a main course with an eclectic mix of Dutch pancakes for a starter and Peter's fruit salad for dessert. Sarah and a friend of hers had kindly contributed a number of recipes (which are easy to cook for Peter and myself) to supplement Hans more advanced and Dutch inspired cooking. It was Swedish singer Eva Dahlgren night after dinner. I hope the whales like her songs too.

I have just started the early morning watch. It is 06.25 on Saturday morning. No opportunity to buy the Weekend FT or have a hot bath with my five year old Brendan before bringing a cup of tea to Imelda. Hans has just woken me up and I am staggering around the boat to find my feet. I need some coffee to feel more awake. I read in the log that we are approximately the same distance from Cape Verde and from Cabo Orange at the border between Guyane Française and Brazil; they are both 900 nautical miles away. This will then be the furthest away from land that we will be for the whole trip: 6 days sailing. We pray that nothing serious goes wrong here.

It is now daylight. I have just written a bigger piece on the daily life onboard. This will be published tomorrow. Watch this space! Dawn was different today, more clouds ahead. At noon, when I post this entry, we have done 183 nautical miles since yesterday. We will pass the half way mark between Cap Verde and Barbados today. One thousand miles have been sailed since Cap Verde and thousand miles to go and indeed two thirds of the distance since Tenerife. Another two reasons for celebration? I am not sure Peter has enough champagne bottles though.